Chief Executive Officer
Gail joined JF&CS in January 2020. She previously worked as the Chief Operating Officer at Gann Academy, Greater Boston’s independent Jewish High School. There she was responsible for all of Gann's business functions, including finance, human resources, marketing, facilities, and operations. Gail also oversaw and implemented strategic initiatives at the school. Prior to joining Gann in 2016, Gail spent more than 20 years leading complex businesses in the high tech sector, serving as CEO and COO for businesses of 500+ staff and over $200 million in revenue. As a passionate volunteer leader, she has served as the board chair of Kesher Newton, led committees focused on youth and education at Temple Reyim, and served as fundraising and recruitment chair at Teen Voices. Gail graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University. She lives in Newton with her husband and two children.
Chief Financial and Operations Officer
Susan joined JF&CS in May 2020. Before coming to JF&CS, Susan was Chief Performance & Strategy Officer for Harbor Health Services, a nonprofit, community health agency that provides health, dental, and behavioral healthcare in Boston, the South Shore, and Cape Cod. Prior to Harbor, Susan was CFO and COO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, where she oversaw the Health Centers, Finance, Facilities and Security, Research, Education, and Information Technology. Susan has a deep commitment to the values of JF&CS and is a former President of Temple Beth Am in Randolph. She is a graduate of Brandeis and Northeastern and lives in Randolph with her husband. She has two grown children and enjoys biking, swimming, yoga, and jigsaw puzzles.
Chief Advancement Officer
Wendy is Chief Advancement Officer for JF&CS. For close to 30 years, Wendy has served in leadership roles at numerous non-profits, including American Jewish Committee, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, and The Rashi School. Wendy has served on the boards of Congregation B’nai Shalom, URJ Northeast Camps, and is currently on the board of the Westborough Amateur Hockey Association. She is a member of The Boston Club and Women in Development of Greater Boston. Wendy is a graduate of the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She lives in Westboro with her husband and family and enjoys biking, hiking, cooking, and travel.
Peggy H. Kaufman, M.Ed., LICSW
Director, Center for Early Relationship Support®
Peggy has been at JF&CS for 30 years and is the founding director of the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support®. Throughout the Commonwealth and across the country, Peggy is a recognized leader and expert in the field of infant-parent mental health. She has been recognized by the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Massachusetts and Partners in Perinatal Health and also received the Partners in Excellence Award from Partners Health Care for Outstanding Performance and Commitment to Excellence. The Parenting Education Network of Massachusetts, the Boston Parents Paper, the Children’s Trust Fund, and the Boston Institute for the Development of Infants and Parents have also honored Peggy for her leadership. When not at work, Peggy enjoys biking, singing, and writing. She lives in Newtonville with her husband and cherishes her time with her five grandchildren.
Meredith Joy, MSW
Director, Community Services
Meredith has been with JF&CS for 16 years. Meredith is the Director of the Community Services Division at JF&CS which includes the Center for Basic Needs Assistance. She is a graduate of the Boston University School of Social Work and has spent close to 30 years addressing social issues through her work at a variety of institutions. Meredith has worked in an adolescent residential treatment program, in-patient psychiatric hospital settings, and community-based youth and arts programs before joining JF&CS in 2004. Outside of work, Meredith is very active in the Temple Beth Zion community and enjoys gardening, walking, and anything that involves being in nature. She lives in Brookline with her partner and stepdaughter.
Kathy Burnes, M.Ed.
Director, Services for Older Adults
Kathy has been with JF&CS for 13 years. Prior to coming to JF&CS, she worked in academia as a senior research associate at Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship and at the National Center on Women and Aging at Brandeis University. Kathy also worked for AARP and Operation ABLE of Greater Boston. She has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a M.Ed. in rehabilitation counseling from Northeastern University. Kathy is the president of the Mass Gerontology Association (MGA) and the chair of the Minuteman Senior Services Advisory Committee. Kathy sings with the Somerville Community Chorus, loves to swim, and lives in West Medford with her husband and older son.
Sara Freedman, MSW
Director, CHAI – Disability Services
Sara joined JF&CS in 2006 as an intern in the CHAI Works day program. Throughout her time at JF&CS, Sara has held numerous jobs in CHAI Services, including job coach, residential support specialist, Director of Community Programs, and Associate Division Director. Sara’s passion for supporting individuals with disabilities and their families has motivated her to help launch new programs in CHAI Services, as well as expand and grow existing programs. Sara has a bachelor’s degree in human development and psychology from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in social work from Boston College. Sara lives in Arlington with her husband and family.