About Us

Yad Chessed, which means “hand of loving kindness,” was founded in 1989— by Robert Housman, an impassioned and dedicated volunteer—to help Jewish individuals and families in need. Our small, yet highly-effective staff includes four social workers and is located in Waltham, MA. We primarily support clients in Massachusetts, with some residing in nearby states.

Our Mission

Yad Chessed provides emergency financial assistance to Jewish people in need while preserving the dignity of each client. The funds we distribute for food, medical expenses, shelter and other essentials, as well as our guidance, help alleviate economic distress and move each client toward a more hopeful future.

Our Financials

2022 (September 1, 2021 – August 31, 2022)

2021  (September 1, 2020 – August 31, 2021)

2020 (September 1, 2019 – August 31, 2020)

Professional Staff

Nancy Kriegel, Executive Director

Nancy J. Kriegel joined Yad Chessed as Executive Director in December of 2019. Prior to her current role, Nancy worked at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) in senior positions overseeing efforts to strengthen area Jewish Day Schools. Nancy’s work included community building and developing and implementing strategies for accessing additional revenue streams for the 14 Jewish day schools in Greater Boston. Previous to CJP, Nancy was a founder and co-president of Gateways: Access to Jewish Education. Before dedicating her career to Jewish communal service, Nancy was a practicing attorney with degrees from Boston College Law School and the University of Pennsylvania. Nancy lives in Sharon, MA, with her husband and has three young adult children.

Deborah Freed, Associate Executive Director

Deborah joined Yad Chessed as a case manager in 2009. She has experience as a hospice social worker and a sexual assault crisis counselor and has worked with ex-offenders. She worked at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in the Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery. She also worked at BIDMC’s Center for Cognitive Neurology. She received her Bachelor’s at Wesleyan University and a Masters in Social Work from Simmons.

Susan Barron, Case Manager

Susan Barron joined Yad Chessed as a case manager in January 2013. She previously worked at an adoption agency, at the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, and for Project Connect, helping parents of children with behavioral and emotional disturbances. She graduated from Columbia University with a master’s in social work.

Katya Udin, Case Manager

Emily Cooper, Case Manager

Sophie Gildesgame, Director of Operations

Sheryl Hirsch, Communications, Development & Outreach

2022-2023 Board of Directors

Lori Silver, President

Janet Goldenberg, Executive Vice President

Barbara Ross, Treasurer

David Farbman, Clerk

Daniel Black

Kathy Cohen

Daniel Friedman

Hilary Gelfond

Neal Karasic

Rebecca Kotkin

Jacklyn Liberman

Ed Musmon

Sandy Remz

Cheryl Nissenbaum Sanders

Linda Skolnik

Jacob Teich

Shani Winton

Robert Housman, Founding Director Emeritus