Our Staff

sharon.jpgSharon Díaz, Executive Director

Sharon Díaz comes to JRC with extensive experience in houses of worship and nonprofit management. Most recently, she was executive director of Congregation Solel in Highland Park; before that, she was an administrator for North Shore Unitarian Church. Immediately after earning her Masters of Management in Nonprofit Administration from North Park University, Sharon was the Director of Development and Alumni Relations for Meadeville-Lombard Theological Seminary, affiliated with the University of Chicago.

Sharon and her husband, John, live on the north-side of Chicago. They have three grown children, Orlando, Ivan and Maia.

Contact Sharon if: You have a question about the budget, finances for your committee, if you expect to enter into a legal agreement with another organization or vendor, if you want to include sales (i.e. tickets or books) at your event, or if you have general questions about how to get stuff done at JRC. 
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 847-328-767​8, ext. 2224


img-6157.jpgYvonne Kaminsky, Assistant to the Executive Director and Assistant Rabbi for Education

Contact Yvonne if you have a question about Religious School registration, you want to make a donation, or if you have questions or changes to make to the Member Portal (contact info, yahrzeits, ect).
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 847-328-7678, ext.2220



Shelli Patt, Early Childhood Center Director

Shelli Patt has worked in the early childhood field for over twenty years as a program administrator, teacher, university instructor, and curriculum consultant and trainer. Her experience includes teaching in synagogue and university-based early childhood programs, and supervising the preschool program at a social service agency in Chicago. She is a certified teacher and holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from University of Illinois-Chicago. Shelli enjoys cooking and gardening, and is always looking for new and interesting classroom ideas and activities to share with the preschoolers. Shelli is a lifelong Chicagoan who grew up not too far from JRC in West Rogers Park. She and her husband Andy live in Skokie. They have two sons, Josh and Roni, and two cats.

Email: [email protected] 

Phone: 847-328-767​8, ext. 2227

lrs-staffpic.jpgLeslie Rosen Stern, Membership, Lifecycle, and Clergy Coordinator 

Contact Leslie if you have a question about membership,  lifecycles (that involve the clergy:  birth, b’nai mitzvah, wedding, funeral, conversion), to make changes to the Member Portal (ie: yahrzeits) or to schedule an appointment with Rabbi Weiss or Cantor Friedland. 
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 847-328-7678, ext.  2222



Max Sendor, Communications and Events Coordinator

Max Sendor comes to JRC as a North Shore native with a background in retail and entertainment communications. He recently returned to Chicago after a few years away in New York City and Boulder. While away from Chicago, Max worked for a variety of organizations, including Fjallraven North America and RSA Films, providing a wide range of media and customer experiences. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and Chinese language from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Max lives on the north-side of Chicago. He currently sings in Lakeshore Dynamics, a Chicago-based a cappella group, as well as engaging with you on topics ranging from music to art to travel.

Contact Max if: You have any questions about communications, programing, upcoming events, scheduling event spaces, social media, etc.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 847-328-7678, ext. 2229

jrchoir.jpgDanny Wallenberg, Choir Director

The adult, children's and family choirs rehearse and perform under the direction of Danny Wallenberg. Danny is an effective teacher and talented musician; he is perceptive, welcoming and supportive. He is a long-time JRC member. In addition to his commitment to the JRC choirs, Danny works for the Chicago Children's Choir and is the conductor of the Music Institute of Chicago Chorale. He is also the founder and artistic director of Zemer Am, the Chicago Jewish Choral Festival.

A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Danny earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees in choral conducting from the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. In Israel, he founded several adult and children's choirs, and sang with the Cameran Singers, a professional choir in Tel Aviv. He has extensive experience conducting collegiate, community, professional, and children's choral groups throughout the world and has many choral arrangements to his name.

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JRC Early Childhood Center

Child With Chalk

Our enriching and diverse preschool program is based on progressive Jewish values, is open to families of all religious backgrounds, and focuses on the importance of relationships between students, teachers, and families. 

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Our Religious School

Girl with Baloon

The Religious School provides JRC children with the building blocks they need to engage throughout their lives in Jewish exploration, community and activism.

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Welcome to JRC

The Green Synagogue and the Pillars of Chai


In 2008, we built the first platinum LEED-certified green synagogue in North America. The construction required 18 pillars - the number in Hebrew that also means "chai" or "life." 

Now, more than ten years later, JRC has launched the Pillars of Chai Campaign to raise $4.4m to wholly own our beloved building. 


learn about the Pillars of Chai

Discover the sustainable technology of our building