The Jewish Arts Collaborative explores and presents the rich, diverse, and creative world of Jewish arts and culture—past, present, and future—to the widest possible audience, in venues across Greater Boston. Through a broad range of programming spanning the traditional to the innovative, we present the finest local, national, and international talent creating artistic work with a distinctive Jewish voice.

Read our vision and history HERE.



Laura Conrad Mandel

Executive Director

Favorite: Yiddish/Hebrew Word: De-schlockify

Why is art important to you: Art is what makes life beautiful, fun, and interesting :-)

Laura is a public art appreciator, obsessive maker, and social entrepreneur who developed a love of Jewish culture across years of Jewish day school and trips to Israel. After graduating Carnegie Mellon with a degree in Art and English, Mandel’s non-profit management experience includes working at Hillel, Hadassah, and the New Center.


Joey Baron

Artistic Director

A Significant Arts Memory: Going to NYC with my grandmother to see the original 1964 production of Fiddler on the Roof

Why is art important to you: I love it when you see something, hear something, experience something so wonderful it just makes you glad you’re alive

Joey has been a community organizer, a kite salesman, a flower deliverer, teacher, and daddy. Eight years ago, he gave up an increasingly meaningless career as an advertising creative director to start the Boston Jewish Music Festival with Jim Ball whom he had never even met. Joey grew up in Mattapan and now lives in West Roxbury.


Jim Ball

Director of Communications

Three things you want on a desert isle: A trumpet, Collection of Steven Sondheim CDs, the complete works of Phillip Roth

Why is art important to you: Creating–music, art, dance, etc.–is one of the highest forms of existence, as important to humans as eating and breathing. And nothing makes me happier.

Jim grew up in NY & NJ (exit 13), majored in music education in college, moved to Boston in 1971, worked odd jobs and did journalism, landed a job at the Harvard News Office, moved into PR work in state government, for Boston City Council, a stint as press secretary for the MBTA and then the dreaded private sector. All along, kept up my love and involvement with music. Had an idea for Jewish music festival, met Joey Baron and the rest, as they say…


Sara Brookner

Director of Engagement

Favorite Yiddish Word: This is a meshuggena question.

Why is art important to you: Like twu wuv and mawwiage, it’s what bwings us twogetha…it provides new insights, appreciation, and joy. And shared touchstones, like the Princess Bride.

In addition to being Director of Engagement, Sara is a freelance dramaturg. She is a proud StageSource board member and coordinates their Gender Parity Task Force, and also a board member-at-large of the Association for Jewish Theater. She earned her MFA in dramaturgy from the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.


Marissa Gross

Office Manager

Favorite Hebrew Word:  Davka, because….davka!

Three Things for a Desert Isle: Tetley tea, because I’m British, full collection of Arik Einstein CDs, because I’m Israeli and unlimited food from Sarma because it’s my favorite restaurant in Boston

Marissa was born in England, educated in Scotland, married and became a mother in Israel and now lives in America.  She has worked in event organization and marketing for many years and is excited to be a part of the Jewish Arts Collaborative.


Jill Higgins

Marketing Manager

Favorite Yiddish Word: Oy vey!

Significant Arts Memory: In college, I interviewed artist-in-residence, Andrew Hart Adler, I will never forget sitting in his studio and listening to him talk about his artwork with so much passion.

Bringing experience in journalism, marketing, graphic design and box office management, Jill Higgins joined the New Center staff in 2008. Every day has be an exciting learning experience for Jill, given her Catholic school background – be it Hebrew phrases, Yiddish words or the meaning of Jewish holidays.


Helen Kadish

Chief Operating Officer

Favorite Yiddish word:  Fa-juggie  (To rattle one’s brain)

Why is Art important to you: It rounds out my capacity to enjoy and understand dimensions of Jewish life with which I was not terribly familiar.

Helen grew up in Baltimore, came to Brandeis for graduate school and never left. She has been privileged to spend her career working for organizations whose missions inspired and absorbed her.  Nine years at CJP, twenty-eight years at the Solomon Schechter Day School, and The New Center for Arts and Culture.

Boards, Committees, Councils:  The New Center

New Center Board of Directors

Howard Cohen, Chair

Robert L. Beal

Barry Bluestone

David S. Cohen

Steven Cohen

Ronald M. Druker
Past Chair

Leslie Gaffin

Harriet Goldin

Rosalind Gorin

Alison Hammer

Michael A. Miller
Past Chair

Lorre Polinger

Suzanne G. Priebatsch

Sari Anne Rapkin

Alan Rottenberg

James Segel

Barry Shrage
ex offico

Paula Sidman
Past Chair

Kevin Steinberg


Board of Overseers

Bonnie Margulies & Barry Weisman, Co-Chairs

Bruce Beal

David Begelfer

Susan Calechman

Sherri Falchuk

Nancy Feldman

Glenda Fishman

Alan S. Geismer

Rosalind Gorin
Board Liaison

Susan Jacobson

Charles Kravetz

Geoffrey Lewis

Irma Mann
Founding Chair

Syrille Rosman

Esta-Lee & Harris Stone

Justin Wyner

Host Committee

Susan Benjamin &
Syrille Rosman, Co-Chairs

Rachael Ades

Michelle Barmazel

Jerry Avorn & Karen Tucker

David & Helene Bailen

Lydia Baumrind

Barry & Susan Benjamin

Barry & Susan Bergman

Joan Blair

Ellen Cohen-Kaplan &

Jeff Kaplan

Bruce & Madelyn Donoff

Toby & Barry Farman

Jack Eiferman & Fern Fisher

Kenneth & Sherri Falchuk

Mark & Pam Fisher

Mickey & Harriet Goldin

Alan & Pam Goodman

Alan & Sylvia Goodman

Charles & Shirley Hurwitz

Ruth Isaacs

Stephen & Beth Israel

Judy Isroff

Aubrey & Roleen Katz

Bruce & Ruth Lynn

Bonnie Margulies

Selma Mayer

Steven & Chana Meyer

Donald & Fran Putnoi

Arlene Rand

Diane Rubin

David & Renee Rudolph

Suzanne Salamon

Steven & Leslie Saul

Eli & Nina Schneider

Lisa Seidel

Barry Weisman & Michele Fishel

Ellen Zarrow-Nissenbaum

NOW Executive Council

Lara Freishtat &
Adrien Khelemsky, Co-Chairs

Lizzie Bell, DIY art

Matt Brookner, Cooking

Debbie Gerofsky, Film

Alison Hammer, Board liaison

Sarah Kleinman

Becky Price, Theater

Eliana Southworth, DIY art

Jesse Ulrich, Pop culture

Jeff Werner, Content

Boards, Committees, Councils:  Boston Jewish Music Festival

Board of Directors

Morris Housen

Fred Ledley

Dan Navisky

Hankus Netsky

David Orlinoff

Janet Sanders

Jerry Slavet

Howard Wolk

Board of Advisors

Don Berman

Ari Davidow

Cantor Roy Einhorn

Cantor Susan Glickman

Rabbi Eric Gurvis

Josh Jacobson

Cantor Jeff Klepper

Rabbi Yosse Lipsker

Laura Mandel

Rabbi Audrey Marcus-Berkman

Cantor Brian Mayer

Guy Mendilow

Cantor Elias Rosemberg

Cantor Elana Rozenfeld

Jesse Sage

Jaymie Saks

Tedd Saunders

Cantor Randall Schloss

Syd Smart

Mark Sokoll

Jodi Sufrin

Rabbi Jeff Summit

Rabbi Andrew Vogel

Rabbi David Wolfman

Yehudi Wyner

Lorel Zar-Kessler