JF&CS welcomed new board members, thanked retiring directors, and honored individuals for outstanding service at the agency’s annual meeting of the board of directors on June 13, 2023.

The six new board members come from impressive and diverse backgrounds:

  • Hedy Adler is an attorney who is currently the president of the Kangesser Foundation, and who serves on the advisory committee of the Center for Basic Needs Assistance. Originally from Cleveland, Hedy has been a trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation of Cleveland, where she served on numerous committees, including one focused on dementia.
  • Morea Cutler is president of the Berlin Family Foundation, which focuses on mental health and basic needs for vulnerable youth and their caregivers. With a masters from Boston College’s School of Social Work, Morea has worked with children and families experiencing generational trauma and psychosocial stressors at Eliot Community Human Services. At JF&CS, Morea is a member of the Center for Early Relationship Support advisory committee.
  • Jose Fridman is an engineering executive at Qualcomm with a Ph.D. in computer engineering. Jose holds 30 US patents and has authored over 40 academic publications. Having seen deep poverty in his native Mexico, Jose is deeply committed to alleviating food insecurity. He is a Family Table volunteer and a member of the Center for Basic Needs Assistance advisory committee.
  • Nora Friedman is a psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Lurie Center for Autism, who provides clinical care for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities across the lifespan. As the sister of a CHAI Works participant, Nora also has a very personal connection to the disabilities field. Nora serves on the CHAI Services advisory committee and is the past board president of Gateways: Access to Jewish Education.
  • David Goldstone is an attorney at Ab Initio Software, with expertise in intellectual property, privacy and data security. David is a Family Table volunteer who serves on the Risk Management & Compliance committee, and on the IT Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Jewish Community Relations Council and its Public Policy Committee, and is a past board member at Temple Emanuel of Newton.
  • Patti McWeeney is a retired attorney with many years of experience at General Electric. She lectured frequently at GE and beyond, and was particularly focused on helping women lawyers grow. At JF&CS, she serves on the Risk Management and Compliance committee and the Center for Basic Needs Assistance advisory committee and volunteers for Family Table North. She also volunteers at CJP and Project Home Again, and co-chairs the JCC’s Jewish Book Month Series.

The agency acknowledged the tremendous contributions of five retiring board members: past presidents Jamie Adess Grossman and David Schechter, along with Ginny MacDowell, Dale S. Okonow, and James Rabb, MD. Together, they have served on the JF&CS board for a total of 92 years and have donated well over 10,000 hours to the agency. They have also donated over $2 million in financial support.

JF&CS Presidents and CEO: Andrew Pearlstein, Gail Schulman, Steve Weil, Jamie Adess Grossman, David Schechter
JF&CS CEO Gail Schulman (second from left) with outgoing president Andrew Pearlstein, incoming president Steve Weil, and past presidents Jamie Adess Grossman and David Schechter.

Andrew Pearlstein concluded a three-year term as board president, a role to which he brought both hard skills and soft skills—helping the agency solidify its finances while also bringing the board together through COVID and the start of a new CEO. He hands the reins to Steve Weil, the son of a Holocaust survivor and a social worker, who has worked hard to marry these influences in his work as an attorney: from studying in the school of social work during law school, to establishing a legal services program for senior citizens, to representing children in the foster care system, and eventually volunteering as a pro bono attorney for Bet Tzedek Legal Services. At JF&CS, Steve has chaired or served on numerous committees, including the Center for Basic Needs advisory, Strategic Planning, Risk Management & Compliance, Nominating, and CEO Search.

Two individuals received special awards for their extraordinary contributions to JF&CS. Ann Hartstein, a committed Family Table volunteer and advisory committee member who brings deep expertise to her work, received the Simone Lottor Award for Exceptional Volunteer Service. Robin Gross received the Betsy Gross President’s award for her countless contributions as a board member.