Sharon Díaz, Executive Director
Sharon Díaz comes to JRC with extensive experience in houses of worship and nonprofit management. Most recently, she was executive director of Congregation Solel in Highland Park; before that, she was an administrator for North Shore Unitarian Church. Immediately after earning her Masters of Management in Nonprofit Administration from North Park University, Sharon was the Director of Development and Alumni Relations for Meadeville-Lombard Theological Seminary, affiliated with the University of Chicago.
Sharon and her husband, John, live in Highland Park. They have three grown children, Orlando, Ivan and Maia.
Terri Ginsberg Bernsohn, Religious School Director
Terri Ginsberg Bernsohn has been Director of JRC’s Religious School since June 2003, and a member of JRC since 1992. As a congregant, Terri coordinated the monthly Sunday Soup Kitchen for 10 years, served on JRC's Board, and was a member of the Global AIDS Task Force that traveled to Uganda with American Jewish World Service.
Terri values her close collaboration with a creative staff and committed lay leadership. She takes great pleasure in helping families weave meaningful connections within the school community and the broader congregation.
Terri holds a Masters Degree from DePaul University’s Public Service Management program, and is a member of the Board of RENA, the Reconstructionist Educators of North America. She is also a Board Member for Hands of Peace.
Terri's children Noah, Emma and Charlotte all attended JRC’s Religious School.
Bonnie Silverman, Early Childhood Director
Bonnie Silverman has been an early childhood educator since 1985, and has been the Director of JRC’s Early Childhood Center since 1997. She sees families, not only children, as part of the early childhood Jewish experience: families bring their children to Jewish early childhood programs to connect with a community and affirm and explore their Jewish heritage, values and traditions.
Bonnie was the recipient of the 2006 Childcare Network of Evanston’s Early Childhood Award. She serves on the Evanston Early Childhood Director’s Council, and has presented many programs for the wider community regarding special topics in separation and special needs. She is also on the Board of the National Jewish Early Childhood Network.
Bonnie is a favorite story reader at our Erev Shabbat Family and High Holiday Services. She and her husband Ron and son Matt have been members of JRC since 1990.
Tom Samuels, Membership & Program Coordinator
Tom originally hails from Toronto, Canada. He moved to Chicago at the behest of the Mayor's Office to launch Safe Routes to Schools/Walking School Bus programs both locally and nationally. Tom has a diverse Jewish background from Conservadoxy to Religious Zionism to complete Secularism, and everything in between. Tom has a Bachelor in Accounting & Jewish Studies, a Masters in Landscape Architecture/Urban Design, and a Masters of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies from the Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies. He is a Fellow of the iCenter where he is completing a Masters Concentration in Israel Education. He is also completing a Certificate in Jewish Leadership through Northwestern University and Spertus. Tom lives in Chicago with his wife, Melissa, and two boys, Jonah and Eli.
Danny Wallenberg, Choir Director
The adult, children's and family choirs rehearse and perform under the direction of Danny Wallenberg. Danny is an effective teacher and talented musician; he is perceptive, welcoming and supportive. He is a long-time JRC member. In addition to his commitment to the JRC choirs, Danny works for the Chicago Children's Choir and is the conductor of the Music Institute of Chicago Chorale. He is also the founder and artistic director of Zemer Am, the Chicago Jewish Choral Festival.
A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Danny earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees in choral conducting from the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. In Israel, he founded several adult and children's choirs, and sang with the Cameran Singers, a professional choir in Tel Aviv. He has extensive experience conducting collegiate, community, professional, and children's choral groups throughout the world and has many choral arrangements to his name.