Former Executive Director of Street Sense to head suite of experiences and training opportunities
to engage and inspire young Jewish service leaders and professionals
Washington, DC, September 8, 2011 – The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation announced today that Abby Strunk Saloma will join its national office in Washington, DC, as a Program Officer.
Strunk Saloma will develop and implement initiatives to engage and support young Jews involved in secular service work and otherwise as they explore and become creators of Jewish life. She will focus on broadening and deepening the Foundation’s work with Teach For America, particularly through its REALITY Israel Experience program, which brings corps members to Israel for 10 days to explore their commitment to leadership, education and social justice through a Jewish lens.
The success of the program, in tandem with the recent Volunteering+Values report from Repair the World, has highlighted a significant opportunity to help young Jews see their commitment to volunteerism through the lens of a Jewish framework and to strengthen the Jewish community’s social impact. The program offers a replicable model for engaging young Jewish volunteers across other secular service organizations.
“Imagine how powerful it would be if all young Jews understood their commitment to service as an authentically Jewish value,” said Lynn Schusterman, chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. “By bringing Abby on board, we are able to expand and deepen our efforts to enrich the Jewish lives of young adults and to heighten the impact they are able to have on the Jewish community and the world at large.”
Strunk Saloma brings to the Foundation a breadth and depth of experience from the for-profit, non-profit, Jewish and secular sectors, as well as extensive experience managing and coaching young and emerging professionals. Following her tenure at BBYO, during which she helped to nearly double teen involvement in meaningful Jewish experiences, Strunk Saloma assumed the Executive Director role at Street Sense, a DC-based non-profit organization that works to empower the homeless. Most recently, she led the development efforts for The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, a non-profit organization that trains health and mental health professionals, educators and community leaders.
In addition to her work with young Jewish secular service leaders, Strunk Saloma will design, manage and evaluate initiatives to recruit, network and train the best and brightest young Jewish professionals. Strunk Saloma’s role is a natural extension of the Foundation’s work over the past two decades to help as many young Jewish adults as possible connect with one another and work together to build vibrant, inclusive Jewish communities. She will work in close collaboration with the Foundation’s global staff to build on and support its continuing efforts to expand the reach and impact of our work; incubate, pilot and launch new programs and initiatives; and empower young Jewish innovators to create new avenues of Jewish experiences.