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Jennifer Gorovitz became first female CEO of a major Jewish federation

May 14, 2010
Jennifer Gorovitz
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Jennifer Gorovitz became the first woman CEO of a major Jewish federation in May, 2010.

Image courtesy of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties.


After nearly eight months in an interim leadership role, Jennifer Gorovitz was named Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation, which ranks among the 20 largest Jewish federations on in North America. While women make up 75% of American federation staffs, Gorovitz was the first woman to head a major one..

An attorney by trade, Gorovitz gave up practicing law in 2004 to take care of her two young children and pursue a career within the Jewish community. She was well acquainted with federation work. Her great-grandfather, grandmother, and mother were all active federation members; Gorovitz’s own involvement began when, as an undergraduate at Stanford University, she led a federation-run campaign for Ethiopian Jewry.

Upon joining the SF Jewish Community Federation, Gorovitz spent five years in various roles before being appointed CEO. She had served as Chief of Staff for former CEO Daniel Sokatch, who left the position to head the New Israel Fund.

“I like to wrestle with challenging situations,” Gorovitz told JWeekly, a California newspaper. “I do not shy away from things that are troubling or anguishing. That’s part of making a contribution. It would be easier to do something different, but this is what excites me on a daily basis.”

Sources: Moving up: New CEO is first woman to head a major Jewish federation, JWeekly; Congratulations to Jennifer Gorovitz – and to our Federation!, Jewish Community Federation of San Fransisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "This Week in History - Jennifer Gorovitz became first female CEO of a major Jewish federation." (Viewed on April 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/may/14/2010/jennifer-gorovitz>.