Committees and Task Forces


What does getting involved look like? 

Fostering connection and community, committee members work with staff to provide programming and services for all members to enjoy. Some groups meet monthly, while others meet quarterly or on an ad-hoc basis. Whatever your interest, there's a group at JRC for you participate in!

How Do I Get Things Done at JRC? 

If you are on a Committee/Task Force and don't know where to start, browse our How to Get Things Done FAQ's list! 

How to Get Things Done FAQs

Full List of Committees and Task Forces 

A B C D E F G H I | J K L M | O P Q R S || V W |Z

Accessibility and Inclusion

Accessibility/Inclusion meets to respond to concerns and help facilitate ways JRC can become more sensitive and responsive to the needs of persons with disabilities.

Adult Education

This committee meets on an ad-hoc basis to plan, coordinate and create policy for our adult learning program. Please see our Adult Education schedule or consult the newsletter for information regarding adult education at JRC. Chair: Todd Hasak-Lowy. Contact: [email protected]. See more>>


The Chesed Committee is committed to performing mitzvot to help JRC members in need—particularly individuals/families who have experienced a recent loss or crisis. Chair: Robin Byster. Shiva Captian: Marie Davidson. Contact: [email protected].

Communications Committee

This task force will ensure that all members are kept apprised of JRC activities and Board actions as well as enhancing our relationship with the greater Jewish community. Contact: Linda Mathias Kaskel.


This committee plans and facilitates all ongoing fundraising in support of our JRC community. Chair: Joel Gratch.

Early Childhood

This committee meets to discuss issues of importance to JRC’s Early Childhood Center. Members work together to determine policy and explore ways to support early childhood education at JRC. Co-chairs: Michelle Farra and Lauren Blanford. Contact: [email protected].

Learn more about the Early Childhood Center


The "JRC Gardeners" are a hands-on group that helps to beautify the synagogue landscape. The Garden Committee has a number of ongoing projects to support and maintain our grounds. Learn more about our garden and the JRC members who keep it beautiful. Contact: Larry Goldberg.

Gender Inclusion Task Force

The Gender Inclusion Task Force provides information and facilitates opportunities for learning and advocacy on the issue of gender diversity and inclusion.  The Task Force works to ensure that JRC is welcoming in all aspects of congregational life including educational programs, ritual, facilities, communication, and events. Contact: [email protected]See more>>

Climate Action

JRC's Climate Action Team urges you to get involved in Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, by engaging in acts to repair the environment and strengthening JRC's commitment to sustainability. See more>>

High Holiday

The High Holiday Committee is an annual ad hoc committee that coordinates various aspects of our High Holiday services—from ushering to set-up to coordination of service participation. This is a highly participatory committee that plays an important ongoing role in the spiritual life of JRC. Chair: Jerry Herst. Contact: [email protected].

Immigrant Justice Task Force

The Immigrant Justice Task Force aims to learn about and engage with and on behalf of immigrants and refugees in our congregation, our local community, our nation and the global community. We want JRC to be a congregation that welcomes immigrants and refugees into our own community and provides opportunities for members to engage with others with and on behalf of refugees and immigrants. Chair: Beth Lange. Contact: [email protected]See more>>

Israel/Palestine Committee 

The Israel/Palestine committee is a resource to help the JRC community engage with the nuances and complexities of Israel/Palestine. The committee works with the congregation to encourage a thorough exploration and understanding of a range of perspectives on Israel/Palestine. Co-chairs: Abby Harris-Ridker and Stan Cohn. Contact: [email protected] See more>>

JRC Press Task Force

The JRC Press Task Force has published our 5th member produced book Lost and Found: Embracing the Whole of Life. This collection of personal essays, poems, and stories will examine the losses and gains - both positive and negative - that are an inherent part of life. Chair: Charlene Gelber. Read more>>

Leadership Development

The Leadership Development Committee works to identify, engage and foster the development of JRC's current and future lay leaders. Their vision is to engage with the JRC community to identify members who have interest in supporting JRC at any level, and then work to engage these members individually in tailored levels of volunteerism and leadership which meet their interests while providing mentoring and support to foster development, growth and escalating involvement of these individuals. Chair: Robin Trilling. Contact: [email protected].


The mission of the JRC Library is to promote lifelong learning (Limud) at JRC and to reinforce and support congregational programming for all age groups and constituent units of JRC, responsive to the times and culture in which we live. Chair: Robert Lange. Contact: [email protected]. Browse the library catalog>>


This committee works to enhance services to members and to help create a greater sense of community at JRC. VP of Membership: Hannah Shearn

Learn More About Membership

Peace Dialogue Task Force

JRC’s Peace Dialogue serves as a resource and catalyst to JRC members in addressing matters of peace and justice. Chair: Maria Tolpin. Contact: [email protected]Read more>>

Racial Equity Task Force 

JRC’s Racial Equity Task Force is devoted to increasing racial equity within our congregation and throughout our local and global communities. The Task Force plans programming to build awareness about structural and institutional racism. We work toward personal and communal transformation through training, education, conversation, and social action. We plan to create opportunities for JRC members to engage in efforts to promote equity among all racial and ethnic groups and work toward justice throughout our congregation and community. Co-chairs: Jennifer Jaffe and Mandy Wolfman. Contact: [email protected]. Read more>>

Ritual Practices

This committee meets to discuss and address religious issues that directly affect our community. It also endeavors to facilitate greater member involvement in religious services at JRC. Chair: Nancy Zwick.

Religious School

This committee meets to discuss educational issues, create policy and support the work of our Religious School staff. Chair: Stacy Cloud. Contact: [email protected].

Soup Kitchens

JRC members operate three Soup Kitchens in Evanston at which groups of JRC volunteers cook a community meal for approximately 90 people in need. See more>>

Strategic Planning Committee

This committee equips and mobilizes JRC’s leadership to act in accordance with the congregation’s strategic plan. Chair: Diana McNelis. Contact: [email protected].

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JRC Early Childhood Center

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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

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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