Sarra Alpert headshot

James Raack serves on the Washington D.C. Advisory Council at Avodah.

James Radack came from the Boston area to DC nearly 40 years ago for college and never left. After attending Georgetown University, he built a career in service and social justice, first as a pro bono paralegal at Covington, then as a mayoral aide, and most significantly as a national mental health educator over the past few decades.

James is one of Mental Health First Aid USA’s (MHFA) original national trainers and local instructors, having served in this role since the program’s introduction to the United States in 2008. Over the subsequent 10+ years, he has trained and certified thousands of MHFA instructors across the country — including teachers, police officers, clergy, university staff, mental health professionals, nurses, members of the military, NGO leaders, corporate executives, and many more — on behalf of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing.

James is a member of and Social Justice chair for Bet Mishpachah, the DMV area LGBTQ congregation, based at the EDCJCC. He is also a professional actor and has appeared in on the stage in plays and on screen in advertisements, training videos, and films. Learn more at