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Boston JCRC head to become CEO of National Council of Jewish Women

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Hey Everyone, I am back from 10 days off of work. I hope no one missed me too much. 

Now it’s time to catch up.

First, the big news of the day. 

Nancy Kaufman, the longtime head of the Jewish Community Relations Council in Boston, has announced that she will leave her post to take over as the new CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, according to The Boston Globe.

Writes the Globe:

A former assistant secretary under Governor Michael S. Dukakis, she was tapped to lead the Jewish Community Relations Council in 1990. With more than 40 member organizations, Kaufman expanded the group’s mission over the past two decades, spearheading initiatives that focused on social justice, Israel advocacy, and lobbying state leaders on issues ranging from health care to Israel.

“This was an opportunity to take what I did in Boston and bring it to a national stage,’’ said Kaufman, 59, who helped build a three-person nonprofit into one of the region’s most recognizable social justice groups. “I will continue to work on advocating for universal social justice from a particularly Jewish perspective and to focus on issues for women and children.’’

Her work at the JCRC in Boston is emblematic of what a Jewish group can do when it competes in the mainstream world and must keep up with non-Jewish organizations, as she turned what was a three-person operation when she took over in 1990 and turned it into a power broker in New England.

Writes the Globe:

Besides creating literacy and mentoring programs, Kaufman also became a key Boston Jewish representative in interfaith organizations such as the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, where she helped push for overhauling the state’s health care law and formed committees to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Some, like the Rev. David Michael, called her the “go-to’’ person in Boston’s Jewish community.

“Anytime I would need to reach out to the Jewish world as the representative of the archdiocese, it would be through Nancy,’’ said Michael, associate director for interreligious relation for the Archdiocese of Boston. “This is a woman who has real passion for engaging the world with issues of social justice.’’

The Rev. Hurman E. Hamilton, president of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, said Kaufman worked to recruit dozens of temples to join the organization.

Philanthropist Myra Kraft credited Kaufman with helping transform the Jewish Community Relations Council from a little-known Jewish group to one of the highest-profile nonprofits in the city. “She made the JCRC what it is today,’’ said Kraft, the wife of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

She will assume her new post in December.

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