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Barry Shrage announces CJP retirement

L-r: Barry Shrage, his wife Ellie, and Jason Alexander (photo by Shahar Azran)

Barry Shrage, president of Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston, announced this week that he will be stepping down from that position next year. “I expect this change will take place around the summer of 2018,” said Shrage. “A search committee, chaired by Aron Ain, CEO of Kronos and Shira Goodman, CEO of Staples, will begin its work in September to identify my successor.”

“It was nearly 30 years ago when Ellie and I came to Boston with our children, Ari and Nili, ages nine and six at the time,” said Shrage in an announcement released Wednesday afternoon. “I arrived at CJP from The Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, an organization that taught me a great deal about the power of community and the enormous responsibility of Jewish leadership at times of immense challenge and opportunity.”

Shrage also ran a federation in New York before the move to Cleveland. He grew up in the Bronx.

“We have worked long and hard to make Jewish learning a source of pride for ourselves and our children, to create a welcoming and inclusive community for everyone, to support our brothers and sisters in Israel and around the world, and to reach out with love to the next generation of Jews and to the broader community with a deep commitment to justice and righteousness,” Shrage added.

Shrage had a prior stint in Boston, when he studied social work at Boston University during the late 1960s. He was born in 1947.

Shrage was honored last month as Israel Bonds celebrated two major milestones – more than $40 billion in worldwide sales since it was founded in 1951, and more than $1.1 billion in U.S. sales in 2016 alone. Shown above with Barry, left, is his wife Ellie, as well as Jason Alexander, who emceed the proceedings in Miami Beach.

Said Shrage of his devotion to Israel Bonds, “In going to Israel, you can’t help but feel that you’re part of a family – it’s overwhelming and beautiful. All of the sudden, you figure out who you are and what the purpose of your life is, and Israel has a way of doing that. I feel a sense of responsibility to look at an issue with regards to Israel or Jewish life or Jewish education, and do something about it.”

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