Barry Shrage has served as president of CJP (Combined Jewish Philanthropies) — Greater Boston’s Jewish Federation — since 1987. Under his leadership, CJP focuses on developing Jewish education and engaging future generations, building connections to Israel, and caring for the area’s most vulnerable.
He champions true partnerships among CJP, donors and recipient organizations. During his tenure, CJP has invested $1.1 billion into strengthening the Jewish community in Greater Boston and beyond. Last year, CJP’s Annual Campaign received contributions of more than $56 million.
Shrage has helped create cutting-edge programs that engage others in meaningful Jewish life and create a welcoming, inclusive community. These projects include Me'ah, an intensive adult-education curriculum, and Parenting Through a Jewish Lens, a program for parents of young children, tweens and teens. Pioneered in Boston, both programs are now being replicated nationwide. He also spearheaded an incentive grant program that supports Jewish overnight-camp opportunities.
One of Israel’s most passionate advocates in Boston, Shrage helped establish the Boston-Haifa Connection, a sister-city relationship that led to mutually beneficial social programs. He was among the first to embrace the power of Birthright Israel, working to send 11,000 Boston-area college students on free trips to Israel. CJP’s Israel Campus Initiative has become a national model for encouraging students to become lifelong advocates for Israel.
During the recession that began in 2008, Shrage helped develop CJP’s Economic Response, which provided funding to meet the needs of the Boston area’s most vulnerable, including seniors, immigrants, the unemployed and people with disabilities.
After graduating from City College of New York, Shrage earned a master’s degree in social work from Boston University. He and his wife, Ellie, live in Newton, where they raised two children. They have five grandchildren.
Shrage recently announced he will step down as CJP president in summer 2018. He will continue working to strengthen Jewish life and community partnerships through CJP and other organizations that share a common interest in the Jewish future.