Andréa is a research faculty member at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and a longtime active member of the Champaign-Urbana (CU) Jewish community. For the past two decades, she has juggled her academic career with various volunteer and part-time positions at different CU Jewish organizations. Her academic work investigates how various environmental factors – in particular, chemicals present in food and consumer products–impact pregnant women’s health and their children’s development. The ultimate goals are to educate the community about how to minimize exposure to harmful environmental agents, as well as inform policymakers so that collectively we can protect mothers’ and children’s wellbeing. As a member of the local Jewish community, Andréa has worked to foster strong connections and social capital both within as well as across the Jewish community and other faith and cultural communities. As a former dancer, Andréa has been involved in teaching Israeli dance to Jews and non-Jews in CU, using dance as a community-building tool.
Andréa was born in São Paulo, Brazil, where she was raised in a blended and interfaith Catholic-Jewish family. As a teenager, she joined a group of high schoolers on a 3-month visit to Israel, where she lived and worked in Kibbutz Dalia during the week and traveled the country on weekends. This transformational experience forged her deep connection to Judaism and the diverse peoples of Israel. At 19 years old, she came to the US to study Psychology at UCLA. After completing her Bachelor’s, she worked as a Case Worker for the Department of Children and Families Services (DCFS) in LA County. She was part of the first Latino Case Worker unit at DCFS in LA, serving Latino families in South Central LA for 2 years before moving to Illinois for her doctorate in Developmental Psychology at UIUC.
Andréa has been married to her husband Dov for 23 years. They lived in Canada at the start of their marriage, but CU has been their beloved home since 2002. They have two teenage daughters who are also dancers and assist Andréa in her various Israeli dance projects.
Lauren is a graduate of Ithaca College with a B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation. She began her career in recreation working with people with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. After several years in the field, she was introduced to fundraising and has been in development ever since. Currently, Lauren is the Director of Major Gifts at Per Scholas, a workforce development program which advances economic equity through rigorous training for tech careers. She believes that philanthropy has become an important way for people to express their identity. She feels privileged to be able to match donors with meaningful investments.
Lauren lives in Highland Park with her husband, two children, and two crazy dogs. They enjoy traveling, being outdoors, and just spending time together
Sarah (she/her) recently started a new role as the Midwest Regional Program Director at Repair The World.
Prior to Repair The World, her passion for experiential education and relationship building led to a career as an overnight camp professional. She was the Summer Camps Director at McGaw YMCA Camp Echo for seven years. One highlight of Sarah’s tenure at Camp Echo is her work with families and staff to facilitate and implement the first all-gender cabins. While she spent her summers at camp, she led Taglit-Birthright Israel trips most winters, and was in the first cohort of Birthright Fellows.
Prior to her role at Camp Echo, Sarah served as the Director of Education at KAM Isaiah Israel in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, where she ran the Religious and Nursery School programs. To better meet the needs of that community, she created Shoresh, a Shabbat-based experiential program, where children would attend Religious School on Friday afternoons, ending with family Shabbat services.
Sarah has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Indiana University and volunteered for a year in Israel as an OTZMA Fellow, part of the Masa Israel Journey. Sarah is also on the board for Camp For All Kids, which facilitates racial diversity at overnight summer camps in the Midwest. Sarah is a St. Louis native and proud Cardinal’s baseball fan. She has been living in Chicago since 2012.
Michelle wears dual hats as an Educator and the Social Media Marketing Coordinator for the Board of Jewish Early Childhood Centers (BJE-ECC).
She also teaches Kindergarten to 2nd graders at the Ezra-Habonim Niles Township Jewish Congregation’s Religious School.
Michelle is very committed to teaching children core Jewish values. She is the Founder of Early Tikkun Olam Adventures, which introduces children to hands-on opportunities to connect with concepts like Mitzvot and Tikkun Olam.
Michelle graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Journalism in 2007. Prior to her work in the Chicago Jewish community, Michelle was a news reporter for the NBC-TV news affiliate in East Peoria, Illinois and CBS radio news affiliate in Bloomington, Illinois.
During her free time, she enjoys reading, playing softball, gardening, and spending time with her friends, family, and cats Finley and Fezco.
Lauren Perlman holds a Bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva University/Stern College for Women in art history and education. She continued her learning at Bank Street College of Education and received a Master’s in Museum Education, with a specialization in museum special education. Lauren worked for eight years at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was in the ancient Egyptian galleries where the idea for her company, Mummies and Masterpieces, was born. Inspired by the visual images of the artifacts, she sought to create programming for Jewish schools, telling the stories of the Torah through worldwide museum masterpieces. She was passionate about reaching and teaching all kinds of learners and enabling them to feel success through visual and hands-on museum programs. Her years at the Met brought her to teach in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and centers for abused and battered women. With these experiences, she expanded her business to include students of all ages, backgrounds and abilities and currently teaches, trains, directs and oversees staff and programming in several states in the US and in Canada. Most recently, her programming was implemented in Israel. Mummies and Masterpieces just celebrated its 28th anniversary.
Lauren enjoys volunteering in the local and international community. During the Second Intifada she held the second national Israeli Vendor Fair in the country. After organizing two fairs in the Midwest, she served as a mentor for 22 additional US cities, helping to raise a total of $3 million for Israel.
In 2015 Lauren spearheaded a fundraiser through Artists for Israel to provide Healing Arts Kits for the Jewish community of Paris. These kits enabled children to work through their trauma of the Hypercacher kosher food market terror attack, through art and play.
Amidst the current pandemic, Lauren worked with The Museum of Childhood, Ireland in an international online and in-person youth exhibit of art and poetry. The exhibit provided a safe emotional space for young artists to express their feelings about life in the times of COVID-19. She co-curated the exhibit at The Art Center of Highland Park, which was the first venue outside of Europe to host the collection.
Lauren is the proud mother of three wonderful children and mother-in-law to her new, much-loved son-in-law.
Rebecca is the Director of Financial Planning and a Senior Wealth Manager at Nadler Financial Group, Inc. in Deerfield, IL. She joined the firm in 2011 and became a shareholder in 2021. Rebecca is a two-time Five Star Wealth Manager award winner and is passionate about helping clients achieve their financial goals. Two areas of significant interest for Rebecca include charitable planning and retirement planning for small business owners. Rebecca also dedicates much of her time to internal firm management.
Prior to joining Nadler Financial Group in 2011, Rebecca gained several years of experience in the financial markets working at a firm that specialized in trading equity options. Rebecca is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) and completed the financial planning coursework through Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies. Rebecca graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a minor in Mathematics.
Rebecca is also a proud member of the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) Chicago Board. Rebecca lives in Buffalo Grove with her husband Mike and their two daughters: Hannah, age 8; and Natalie, age 6.
Rebecca S. Silverman, MPH
Rebecca has worked in the nonprofit sector in Chicago for 15 years. She began her career as a fundraiser for various arts organizations before transitioning to a career in medical administration. She worked in the dean’s office of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and in the UChicago Medicine Department of Surgery for nearly a decade, and now works at a network of federally funded healthcare centers as a quality improvement advisor.
Rebecca received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her Masters in Public Health from University of Illinois – Chicago. She volunteers monthly at Dress for Success Worldwide Central, is an active member of the Mishkan Chicago congregation, and enjoys her free time by participating in athletics, book clubs, photography workshops, Spanish classes, dance lessons, and anything else that seems fun.
Melissa is the Assistant Director of Evaluation and Quality Improvement at the Jewish United Fund (JUF). She provides evaluation consultation and technical assistance to JUF funded agencies, leads, and implements internal evaluation initiatives, and works with community partners through the Shared Outcomes project to demonstrate collective impact. With 15+ years of nonprofit experience working in direct service and administrative capacities, she has cultivated skills in community organizing, program evaluation, and educational workshop facilitation. Melissa holds a BS in Psychology and a BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with a focus in Social Policy and Evaluation and a specialization in child welfare. Outside of work, Melissa loves to go on travel adventures and always tries to discover the best bakery in any new place she visits.
Jenny has been a Youth Programs Specialist for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Family and Youth Services Bureau since 2003. She has been able to demonstrate her leadership and programmatic expertise by providing guidance, leadership, and technical assistance to Runaway and Homeless Youth Federally funded organizations.
As a Youth Programs Specialist, she enhances her leadership aspirations by collaborating and partnering with non-profit organizations, youth, Federal agencies, and other stakeholders to improve service delivery and program governance. She does this to ensure and enhance programmatic outcomes that benefit runaway and homeless youth and youth at risk of running away and their families.
She has enhanced her leadership aspirations through participation on various Work Groups that address the needs of runaway and homeless youth. These include her agency’s Strategic Racial Equity Action Plan Work Group, ACF Pilot Work Group, the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs Adolescent Health Team, and the ACF Region 5 State Quarterly Team meetings, to name a few.
Outside her profession, she is actively involved in various Jewish organizations for both herself and her family. As an active member of her synagogue, she participates in Congregation Beth Am Sisterhood activities such as the annual Women’s Seder.
In addition, her family participates in various Jewish activities. For example, they donate to their synagogue Food Pantry to make a difference in people’s lives. They also participate as a family in JUF Tov Network’s Good Deeds Day through various service projects in their local community.
Rebecca has an established career at Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she started as a Clinical Nurse in Gynecology/Oncology. Currently, she works in the Emergency Room as a Clinical Nurse and Nurse Navigator. She has always been energized by the integration of the science and art of medicine and health. Pursuant to these interests, and to broaden her knowledge and understanding of the challenges in healthcare overall, she recently earned a Masters in Health Communication from Northwestern University. Rebecca is motivated to apply her new skills and knowledge to improve both the patient and healthcare provider experience. She feels fortunate that her professional work provides a unique perspective of each of these components. Volunteer work for CJE, New Field Elementary School and Makom Solel Lakeside Congregation feed Rebecca’s appetite to help others.
Away from work, Rebecca is married and loves spending time with her son, Eli. She enjoys exercising, cooking, baking, reading, and listening to her favorite podcasts.
Jacqueline Carroll is an attorney, a human rights advocate, and a storyteller. Starting off her career as an actress and director, having trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, she headed west after obtaining her degree from Northwestern University. While in Los Angeles, she attended the Democratic National Convention and began volunteering for the Gore Campaign. This led her to start a new path-one focused on the practice of law. Jacqueline helped write the Chicago Clean Indoor Air Ordinance (often referred to as the “smoking ban”) and joined the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office- where she practiced for over eleven years. As an Assistant State’s Attorney, Jacqueline specialized in the prosecution of child sex offenders. She then transferred to the civil division, where she defended the County and the Sheriff in §1983 civil rights cases. During her tenure as an A.S.A., Jacqueline prosecuted more than 100 misdemeanor cases, presented over 200 criminal and civil motions in federal and state courts, authored briefs before appellate courts, and litigated four successful jury trials.
After leaving the State’s Attorney’s Office to work for boutique litigation firms, Jacqueline became involved with the Decalogue Society of Jewish Lawyers and Judges, became co-chair of its Committee Against Anti-Semitism and Hate and joined its board. Jacqueline is also a member of the ADL’s Midwest Board. After moderating a panel discussion titled: “Hate Speech and the First Amendment,” Jacqueline left law firm life to work primarily with one of the panelists for that discussion- Alison Pure-Slovin, the Midwest Regional Director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Jacqueline opened her own legal consulting firm, We Persist!, where she creates programming, works on legislation, and writes opinion pieces for organizations such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Jacqueline is also working on a law treatise entitled: “The Holocaust and the Law,” and is in the process of writing a play based on an important historic event.
Sandy Gregerman was born and raised on the Northwest side. She is a graduate of Carthage College graduating with a double major in Business Administration and Marketing along with a minor in Psychology.
Sandy started her career in specialty women’s apparel as a retail manager and training specialist with a focus on talent development. After a decade working in both the field and as a regional project manager, Sandy switched from soft lines into the furniture industry. From retail, Sandy moved to high end wholesale at the Merchandise Mart where she stayed for several years before entering hospitality in the private country club sector. A decade later after seeing the club through two renovations and significant growth, Sandy opted to move to the non-profit world and joined the JCC in 2018. Over the last three years she has added her experience in customer relations and program development to define the potential for JCC Chicago to become a location of choice for community celebrations and rentals.
Throughout her career Sandy has made time for volunteerism in local schools and in various community activist efforts to care for those in need.
Sandy is married to her husband Dan, of 18 years. They have a daughter 17, Samantha, a rising senior at Glenbrook South High School, and a son 13 Jacob who will join his sister at GBS in the fall. Sam follows her dad’s passion for the arts through dance, theatre, and choir while Jacob is an avid baseball player and budding entrepreneur. In her bits of down time Sandy loves to stay fit, play with her dogs, and repaint old furniture.
Jaimie Korelitz is originally from the Chicago area (Glenview), and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for undergrad. After college she lived and worked in Boston, and then moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico where she taught English. After living in Mexico, Jaimie returned to the Chicago area and started working for Getty Images. Amazingly 17 years later, she is still with the same company, now as a Director of National Accounts. On the personal front, Jaimie is married with 3 kids, ages 10, 6, and 2 which keeps her quite busy and always on her toes!
Randi Novak was born in Chicago and raised in Evanston. She is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington with a BA in Journalism. She started her career working for a mid-sized public relations firm, then began in residential real estate and for the last 10 years, talent acquisition within Human Resources. She describes herself as an energetic, strategic, transparent and a detail orientated recruiting and sales professional. Currently she works for Northwestern Medicine in the North Region. Randi works with 3 other recruiting professionals for both clinical and non-clinical positions and is part of a larger TA team of over 40. Randi works with both inpatient and outpatient recruiting for the system. She serves as an ambassador and champion for positive change throughout Talent Acquisition and with executive leadership. She sees value in teamwork and collaboration with her peers. Randi is a divorced mom, living in Highland Park to 2 tweens; Reese age 10, son Blake, 13 and a rescue King Charles Cavalier, Daisy. In her free time (which in 2020 with 2 kids learning remote and hybrid was not often) she enjoys reading, reality TV and historical documentaries, cooking, walks, mediation and tinkering with DIY projects including but not limited to continually re-organizing or re-arranging her home.
Marni Rosen is the Practice Director of the Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA) in Evanston, IL. As a Clinical Psychologist and Art Therapist, Marni is passionate about using the arts for healing and therapeutic change for adults and children. Her decision to specialize in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was highly influenced by her time in Israel during the Second Intifada and her Post-September 11th New York college experience at Yeshiva University.
Following the completion of her Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 2012 at the Post-Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven, CT and her research assistantship at Yale University studying the impact of trauma on the narratives of Holocaust survivors, Marni taught Art therapy and Counseling courses at Adler University where she had completed her doctorate previously in 2011.
In her role as Practice Director, Marni oversees a Creative Arts Therapy team of 18 professionals and interns across multiple sites in the Chicagoland area. She is a supervisor, consultant, and trainer on trauma centered art therapy, trauma informed arts education, and the utilization of art in clinical practice by non-art therapists. In additional to several published academic papers, Marni has presented to more than 50 professional and community audiences on her work in trauma and art therapy.
Marni resides with her husband, Elie, and 4 children (ages 6, 5, 3, & 1) in Skokie, IL. She and her husband, a colleague in the field of Clinical Psychology and her partner in life, spend their weekends playing board games, building legos and trains, gardening, and doing arts and crafts with their children.
Carly Rousseau was born and raised on the North Side of Chicago. She is a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University and received a JD from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. She started her career working in healthcare and finance, then transitioned to the public sector. Currently she works for the City of Chicago as an Investigator and relishes the opportunity to use her legal and interpersonal skills to help others. Carly spends her free time networking, attending concerts, experimenting in the kitchen, and volunteering with a variety of grassroots organizations.
Sharon Schwartz has had a varied work history – and is ready to use it all to shape her future. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a BA in psychology, and from IIT Kent College of Law, she began practicing as an attorney in civil litigation, contracts, real estate and then corporate tax. While on loan from her firm to a charity, she saw that her skills and interests could also serve the not-for-profit world. She then took a position as Midwest Regional Director for Chai Lifeline – an international organization helping children with life-threatening illness. While there, she increased the size of the region, the scope of programs offered, and the fundraising totals. Sharon is currently Director of Operations at Chicago Torah Network – a local organization that connects Jews of all backgrounds to their heritage. In addition, she works as a consultant with schools, individuals, and organizations in grant writing, event planning, marketing, reporting, and other special projects.
Sharon looks forward to joining this group of women who are interested in professional growth and exploring the next step – wherever that may lead.
Amy Shriberg has a background in teaching, research, writing, and editing. She currently teaches political science courses at the College of Lake County. Amy has a Ph.D. in politics from Brandeis University, a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She and her husband live in Lake County and are the proud parents of two teenagers.
Danielle Steele, Director, Major and Municipal Account Management joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois in August 2014. Danielle has eighteen years of experience in the managed care and consulting industries with a focus on operations and account and project management. Danielle began her career in the industry at a large health insurance carrier headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, where she learned and mastered the day-to-day service operation functions as a part of a structured management development program. During her tenure at various managed healthcare companies, Danielle had various roles and responsibilities including service operation management, process improvement, vendor management, implementation, product development and account management.
In addition to her carrier background, Danielle worked for a large regional consulting firm in the Washington DC metropolitan area and worked for a large worldwide consulting firm in Chicago. Danielle has worked with various size clients and industries and focuses on client satisfaction, streamlining plan administration, optimizing relationships, and developing strategies to meet individual client goals.
Danielle is at home in Chicago, she enjoys the hustle and bustle of the city but also appreciates the small town feel of the vibrant neighborhoods across the city. No matter the season, she enjoys being active outside and frequents the abundant parks and the lakefront. She takes great pride in representing local Municipal clients to include the City Agencies. Such partnerships are significant, meaningful, and complex.
Danielle received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Danielle is a licensed insurance producer in the State of Illinois and holds insurance licenses in other states as well.
Sari Steinberg, for nearly three decades, has been privileged to serve as a “shamash,” brightening the light of leaders and luminaries in the Jewish community through engagement, development, writing, and editing. Sari’s success is reflected in the growth of several nascent nonprofits into nationally recognized institutions and in the persuasive articulation of others’ big ideas for the betterment of society. As a communications consultant, Sari creates all kinds of copy for fundraising and PR purposes. Her desire and ability to connect with people, to connect people to causes, and to connect people with each other, form the foundation for what she believes may be the next steps in her career. Sari is honored to be part of this Women inPower cohort and looks forward to learning alongside, and mutually mentoring, her fellow fellows.
Frequently Asked Questions
Going into its 3rd Cohort, JCC Women inPower is a unique Fellowship program pairing seasoned & experienced Chicago area female leaders in professional sectors across a multitude of industries with mid-career participants, providing peer support, mentorship, training, and coaching needed to advance them to the highest levels of leadership.
Fellows will commit to a 9-month program that requires attendance at all lunch and learns. Additionally, Fellows will meet with their assigned mentor at minimum, 4-times during the 9-month program. Each Fellow will give a D’var Torah (short 5-minute talk on a Torah portion) at the start of the lunch and learn.
High-level education focused discussions addressing the challenges that female leaders face when taking the next step in their career. Lunch and learns are mandatory attendance for Fellows. Dates/times provided in advance of applying.
This program is FREE to Fellows.
Each Fellow provides a detailed bio which are then shared with Mentors. Each Mentor chooses their top 3 Fellows that they would care to work with. The Mentors also provide bios which are shared with Fellows, and they choose their top 3 Mentors.
Every effort is made to pair top choices. Unfortunately, you may not receive any of your top 3. The committee diligently reviews requests, bios and industries/businesses to make sure matches are a good fit. Switching mentors is not an option.
Several social events will be planned throughout the 9-month program to get to know your cohort. In-person events will be planned in accordance with current COVID-19 mitigations.
Yes! Meeting with your cohort outside of planned programming is highly encouraged.
Yes, please share the information with your friends and colleagues.
We accept 10-12 Fellows to the program. Size is based on the number of volunteer mentors.The ratio of mentors to fellows is 1:1.
We ask that you vet your calendar against the dates provided for the lunch and learns, prior to applying. For the cohort to be a cohesive group, every Fellow needs to be present and share their voice. While we understand situations arise that might be cause for missing 1 meeting, if you can’t make the majority of dates, we ask that you not apply.
Lunch and Learn Dates
Mandatory for Fellows
- June 15
- July 20
- August 17
- September 21
- October 19
- November 16
- December 14
- January 18, 2023
- February 15
- March TBD (end of cohort celebration)
Jodi S. Cohen
Executive Director, Mishkan Chicago
Owner & Managing Director Ephraim Nonprofit Solutions and President of Hadassah Chicago-North Shore
Senior Director, Integration Management Office, Fifth Third Bank
Managing Partner, Luxury Living Chicago Realty
Former Sr. Director, Product and Innovation, Voluntary Benefits at Trustmark
Executive Director, Jewish National Fund
Chief People Officer, Q-Centrix
Debra B. Natenshon, MS
Founder, DBN Associates
HR Business Partner, Northwestern Medicine
Thank you to our 2021 Mentors
Jodi S. Cohen
Stacey J. Dembo
Managing Attorney at the Law Offices of Stacey J. Dembo, LLC
Sr. Director, Product and Innovation, Voluntary Benefits at Trustmark
Chief People Officer | CHRO at Q-Centrix
Efrat R. Schulman
Partner, Jones Day
Leslie Rosen Stern
Managing Director | Meeting Your Mission
HR Business Partner | Northwestern Medicine
Amy Dordek Dolinsky
Director of Business Development | Lucas James Talent Partners
President | A.M. Real Estate Communications, LLC
Managing Partner | Luxury Living Chicago Realty
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot
Mayor of the City of Chicago; Honorary Co-Chair, JCC Chicago’s Women inPower 2020 Steering Committee
Danielle Claman Gelber
President and Executive Producer, Acoustic Productions, Inc.
President/CEO, JCC Chicago
General Partner, InvestHER Ventures
CEO Azul Partners Inc & Co-Founder MetalMiner
Managing Director, J.P. Morgan