Meet Our Team
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Rabbi Joseph H. Krakoff
Chief Executive Officer
Rabbi Joseph H. Krakoff is the CEO of the Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network. He joined our team as a consultant in Community Outreach and Education following a 16-year career as a congregational rabbi. Rabbi Krakoff has a passion for and vast experience in pastoral caregiving. He served for more than 10 years on the Hospice and Homecare board for St. John Providence Health System’s Reverence Hospice and has completed a Clinical Pastoral Education Rabbinic Rotation at Memorial Sloane Kettering in New York City. Rabbi Krakoff earned a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Penn., a master’s degree from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, and a master’s degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, where he was ordained in 1998.
Rabbi E.B. (Bunny) Freedman
Rabbi E.B. (Bunny) Freedman is Founding Director of the Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network. He received Rabbinic Ordination (Doctorate of Divinity) from Beth Medrash Govoha in 1974. In 1991, Rabbi Freedman created the Jewish Hospice Services Program for Hospice of Michigan. He was then recruited by members of the community to organize the Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network. Rabbi Freedman focuses on community relations, fundraising and staff development.
Director of Philanthropy & Sustainability
Megan Topper, Director of Philanthropy & Sustainability, joined our team in February 2019. In her role, Megan has the privilege of supporting JHCN donors in the fulfillment of their philanthropic goals and legacies in order to transform end of life care. She is fueled by a passion for giving back to the community that shaped her life. Her past experiences include 14 years serving the Detroit Jewish community in fund development, family education, outreach and engagement and leadership development. Megan earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, a teaching certificate from University of Michigan-Dearborn and a Master of Business Administration from Walsh College.
Director of Patient Services
Natalie Rosenfield, director of patient services, joined JHCN in 2012 following an extensive career in a variety of positions in the health care industry including marketing representative, discharge planner, admissions director, and manager of community programs. Natalie served as past president of the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and speakers bureau ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association and Arthritis Foundation. Natalie received her degree in social work from The University of Cincinnati.
Director of Care Coordination
Leslie Katz, L.M.S.W., joined our team in 2022 following a 20-year career as a geriatric social worker in both hospital and Jewish communal settings. Leslie worked for 12 years at the Ann Arbor Veterans Hospital as an inpatient social worker focused on discharge planning. She became lead of the inpatient team, and later, assistant chief of her department. Leslie also served as the director of FRIENDS of Jewish Senior Life for eight years, working with volunteers, community outreach, fundraising, and event planning. Leslie earned a bachelor’s degree in social relations and a bachelor’s degree in advertising with a specialization in public relations from Michigan State University. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan in social work with a minor in management and specialization in aging.
Director of Engagement
Megan LaCross joined JHCN in October 2023 following a 15-year career in the non-profit hospice industry. In her new role as Director of Engagement, Megan will act as a liaison between JHCN’s Life Enrichment specialists and our patients, families and caregivers. Megan will also use her experience in philanthropic giving to grow financial support for JHCN’s continuing education initiatives by cultivating relationships with corporations, foundations and healthcare providers. Megan earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University.
Director of Education
Cheryl Weiss, director of education, was a hospice volunteer for 10 years prior to becoming JHCN’s Director of Education in 2008. Her responsibilities include coordinating the annual Weisberg Caring Coalition conference, along with planning educational events for JHCN staff and partner agencies throughout the community. As a patient advocate, Cheryl makes regular contact with patients and families to provide another layer of support. Cheryl’s involvement with hospice began when her husband was a hospice patient in 1997. Cheryl is a former Detroit Public School teacher and past member of the Board of Trustees of St. John Hospice and Home Care. Cheryl has a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in Educational Leadership, both from Wayne State University.
Rabbi Shalom Freedman
Rabbi Shalom Freedman joined our team in October 2021. He had served since 2016 as Executive Director of Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael in Brooklyn, NY. He received his degree in Talmudic Law from the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia in 2011. After studying in Israel, he completed his rabbinic training at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ. He is a graduate of the Torah Umesorah Fundraising and Leadership Academy. Rabbi Freedman serves patients and families as a spiritual care provider and works to develop marketing, communications and business administration processes for the agency.
Rabbi Jennifer Kaluzny
Rabbi Jennifer Kaluzny joined the JHCN staff in 2001. She received her B.A. in Judaic Studies from the University of Michigan, her M.A. in Hebrew Letters and her Rabbinic Ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. After she experienced hospice during the illness of her beloved aunt, Rabbi Kaluzny made the decision to make pastoral and end-of-life care a central part of her rabbinate. Rabbi Kaluzny is also a pulpit rabbi at Temple Israel of West Bloomfield, Michigan.
Rabbi Yerachmiel Rabin
Rabbi Yerachmiel Rabin received his BA at the Michigan Jewish Institute, and his Rabbinic Ordination from Central Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim in New York. Rabbi Rabin has had 25 years of teaching experience with all ages of children, and has always had a special affinity for the elderly. Rabbi Rabin continues to serve as the Danto Family Health Care Center’s rabbi since its inception in 1996.
Rabbi Rachel Shere
Rabbi Rachel Shere joined our team as a chaplain in July 2022. Rabbi Shere received Rabbinic ordination from the American Jewish University in 2004. She served as a full-time pulpit rabbi at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills from 2004 until 2020. She serves patients and families and works to develop the agency’s grief counseling initiatives.
Director of Communications
Michael Haines has developed brand identity, advertising, marketing and fundraising campaigns for JHCN since 2000. Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Albion College and a Master of Science degree from Columbia University. Mike is an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, the Albion College admissions department, and Tau Kappa Epsilon – Omega Chapter alumni board of advisers.
Sue Lazar has been a member of our team since 2001, having played a supporting role in expanding and improving the organization. In addition to bookkeeping responsibilities, Sue provides support to the CEO and manages office administrative needs. She oversees clerical responsibilities and assists in assuring patients and their families are referred to appropriate JHCN personnel.
Lesley Sherman joined JHCN in 2014 following a career in marketing and advertising. Lesley received her Honors Business Administration degree from The Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario.
Patient Data Administrator
Paula Lambert joined JHCN in 2010 following a career in advertising sales. She volunteered at JHCN prior to her hiring date and has volunteered and worked at Jewish Family Service in various capacities. Paula earned an associate degree in business from Oakland Community College.