Sara Koenig, West End Strategy Team
SKoenig@westendstrategy.com; Cell: (917) 420-0303
National Council of Jewish Women Names Sheila Katz as New CEO
Katz brings community organizing, digital engagement, and coalition-building experience to 125-year-old women’s rights organization
WASHINGTON – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) announced today that it has hired Sheila Katz as its new CEO to lead the organization into the future and build on its 125-year legacy of turning progressive ideals into action. Katz will join NCJW this summer after 12 years with Hillel International, where she was named the youngest-ever vice president in the organization’s history.
“Now more than ever, in today’s polarized political climate, we need a feminist movement rooted in Jewish values that will improve the quality of life for women, children, and families,” said Beatrice Kahn, NCJW board president. “Through her deep experience giving a voice to young activists and developing innovative approaches to critical problems in the Jewish community, Sheila has her finger on the pulse of today’s women’s movement and will enable us to move our advocacy work forward in Washington, D.C. and across the country.”
With her proven track record of community organizing, digital engagement, and coalition-building, Katz will work alongside NCJW’s 90,000 members and supporters nationwide to advance its signature advocacy initiatives ensuring a fair and independent judiciary, reproductive freedom, civic engagement, and empowering women across Israel.
Nancy Kaufman, who has served as NCJW’s CEO for the past eight years, said, “I came to NCJW in 2011 as the organization’s first CEO and I am proud to have put it back on the map as a progressive, activist Jewish women’s organization. At NCJW, I have had the honor to represent tens of thousands of women who take action and deliver services each and every day in 60 communities across the country. I am a life member of NCJW and will continue to work to advance social and economic justice for women, children, and families now and in the future.”
During her tenure at Hillel International, Katz launched MitzVote, a non-partisan voter engagement campaign, co-founded “Ask Big Questions,” a national initiative focused on building civil dialogue, and served as a steering committee member for the White House Campus Interfaith Challenge during the Obama Administration.
“I am honored and proud to take the helm of NCJW and help write the next chapter in its history,” said Katz. “There is no other organization in the country like NCJW – one that harnesses the power and voices of Jewish feminists isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo and creates positive social change that makes a real difference in the lives of millions of people every day.”
Katz currently serves on the executive team of the Safety Respect Equity Coalition, which is working to address sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and the gender pay gap in Jewish workplaces and common spaces. She has dedicated countless hours helping to empower sexual assault survivors, including as a rape crisis counselor, serving on the board of the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse and working closely with Vice President Joe Biden’s “It’s On Us” initiative focused on bystander intervention.
“Through her 12 years with Hillel, Sheila has impacted the lives of thousands of students and professionals, engaging and empowering the next generation of Jewish leaders. She truly embodies the leadership qualities and innovative spirit that Hillel International seeks to develop in all our professionals,” said Eric D. Fingerhut, President, and CEO of Hillel International. “I will greatly miss her advice and counsel, as well as her insights into the current generation of students. I wish her all the best as she embarks on this new and exciting chapter of her career, and know that she will remain connected to our movement and continue to be a strong supporter of Hillel’s mission.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.