Jennifer Gorovitz becomes first female CEO of a major Jewish federation

May 14, 2010

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.


Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

I am so happy to see women rising to top positions in the Federation. This is a landmark event, important for us all. Wishing Jennifer Gorovitz congratulations and good luck.

It is great to see women rising in the ranks of the JFNA. Another great new CEO to watch is Susan Kramer starting in Dallas soon. http://www.jewishfederations.o...

Jennifer Gorovitz.

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

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jennifer Gorovitz becomes first female CEO of a major Jewish federation." (Viewed on May 23, 2019) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

Can We Talk?

listen now

Get JWA in your inbox