The Jewish Arts Collaborative (501C3) 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, JArts™ presents 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, Laura began working for Hillel and hasn’t left the non-profit world since.

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…

Marissa Gross

Production Director

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. 

Kara Kirby

Administrative Coordinator

Why is art important to you: Art is a universal language, and the feeling one gets when a performance, book, or artwork really resonates on a personal level is unlike any other. It’s like crack.

Kara grew up in a small town deep in the forest of New Hampshire where she earned her degree in Music from Plymouth State University (’14). Immediately after graduating, she moved to Boston to start her career as an arts administrator. Since then she has worked with Keys for Kids Music School, Sarasa Chamber Ensemble, The Celebrity Series of Boston, and the Handel and Haydn Society, and she joined the JArts team in January of 2017. She is an active volunteer with Cantata Singers, One Brick Boston, Reverb, and the Drink Craft Beer festival, and she also sits on the Board of Directors for the Greater Boston Choral Consortium. Fun fact: Kara is the only employee of JArts that is not Jewish!

Leadership & Advisors

Board of Directors

Howard Cohen, Chair

Lorre Polinger  (Vice Chair)
David Orlinoff  (Treasurer)
Sari Anne Rapkin  (Vice Treasurer)
Dan Navisky  (Clerk)
Robert L. Beal
Barry Bluestone
Steven Cohen
Ronald M. Druker (Past Chair)
Lara Freishtat
Leslie Gaffin
Harriet Goldin
Rosalind Gorin
Morris Housen
Alison Hammer
Fred Ledley
Bonnie Margulies
Hankus Netsky
Suzanne G. Priebatsch
Alan Rottenberg
Janet Sanders
James Segel
Barry Shrage
Paula Sidman (Past Chair)
Gerald Slavet  (Past Chair)
Kevin Steinberg
Barry Weisman
Howard Wolk
Chris Wyett


Host Committee

Susan Benjamin,  Syrille Rosman,  &  Adrien Khelemsky  Co-Chairs

Rachael Ades

Helene and David Bailen

Lydia Baumrind

Susan and Barry Bergman

Joan Sobel Blair

Madelyn and Bruce Donoff

Sherri and Kenneth Falchuk

Toby and Barry Farman

Pam and Mark Fisher

Jack Eiferman and Fern Fisher

Debbie Gerofsky

Sylvia and Alan Goodman

Pam and Alan Goodman

Shirley and Chuck Hurwitz

Ruth Isaacs

Beth and Stephen Israel

Judy Isroff

Ellen Cohen-Kaplan and Jeffrey Kaplan

Aubrey and Roleen Katz

Chana and Steven Meyer

Ellen Zarrow-Nissenbaum and Alan Nissenbaum

Becky Price

Donald and Fran Putnoi

Arlene and Larry Rand

Diane Rubin

Suzanne Salamon

Leslie and Steven Saul

Nina and Eli Schneider

Lisa Seidel

Barbra Sher

Eliana Southworth

Michelle Barmazel & Kevin Steinberg

Jerry Avorn and Karen Tucker

 Artistic Advisors

Don Berman

Ari Davidow

Cantor Roy Einhorn

Cantor Susan Glickman

Rabbi Eric Gurvis

Josh Jacobson

Cantor Jeff Klepper

Rabbi Yosse Lipsker

Avital Manor-Peleg

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

Think Tanks

Art Think Tank

Abby Goldenthal

Adrien Khelemsky

Al Miner

Alison Hammer

Amanda Goodman

Ariel Burger

Becky Price

Cecilia Kremer

Claudia Kreiman

Dani Weinstein

Dina Deitsch

Eliana Southworth

Graham Wright

Jesse Brackenberry

Jesse Ulrich

Jessica Alpert Silber

Jessica Coughlin

Jessie Smith

Joshua Meyer

Karyn Cohen

Liana Krupp

Linda Apple

Rabbi Darby Leigh

Randi Hopkins

Sarah Berry

Tova Speter


Food Think Tank

Jeff Gabel

Jessica Coughlin

Jessica Alpert Silber

Liana Krupp

Michael Krupp

Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Jeff Werner

Michael Leviton

Josh Brooks

Avi Shemtov

David Harnik

Alex Khitrik

Lara Freishtat

Lizzie Bell

Dena Zigun

Amanda Kulick

Emilie Golenberg

Jessica Coughlin