With over 35 years experience working in the Jewish community, particularly in community relations and public policy, Barbara has advocated on behalf of, developed partnerships with, and established cutting edge projects with local, national, and international civic groups, government agencies, and Jewish communities, including Boston, Washington DC, Yemen, Ethiopia, Israel, Ukraine, and the Former Soviet Union.
Barbara is best known as an outspoken advocate on behalf of Ethiopian Jews. Barbara traveled with the first group of American Jews to Ethiopia in 1981, later lived with Ethiopian immigrants in Israel, and continues to press for full integration of Ethiopians into Israeli society through her role on the boards of the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry and Friends of Ethiopian Jews. She also serves on the advisory board of the New England Region of the New Israel Fund, visits Israel regularly, and speaks Hebrew.
Barbara is currently Managing Director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston and works on a variety of projects in the Jewish community.
A native Bostonian, Barbara creates custom-made Judaica, teaches belly-dancing, and is a perpetual student of Arabic. She and her husband, Doug Cahn, are the parents of Elon (“EG”) and Tamar Gaffin-Cahn.