Leichtag Foundation has announced that, effective November 1st, Chaya Gilboa will assume the position of Executive Director of Jerusalem Philanthropic Initiatives, an Israeli NGO established by Leichtag to strengthen civil society and enhance philanthropy in Jerusalem. In her newly-created role, Chaya will develop and lead the implementation of strategy for Leichtag and partner funders, oversee the Jerusalem Model and other Jerusalem-based programming, work with Jerusalem based organizational leaders to develop their capacity, forge new cross-sector partnerships with funders and stakeholders and curate immersive educational experiences in Jerusalem.
Most recently, Chaya served as Director of Jewish Engagement for Leichtag during a two-year stint in San Diego while her partner Dr. Marik Shtern completed a post-doctoral fellowship. Chaya devised integrative strategies and tools to infuse Jewish content and meaning to a broad spectrum of programming and experiences offered at Leichtag Commons and Coastal Roots Farm. She led professional development programs and facilitated cohort learning experiences.
“In a time that calls for rapid adaptation and innovation to meet unprecedented need, we couldn’t be more excited that Chaya will be taking such a critical leadership role for the Foundation and our partners,” said Charlene Seidle, Executive Vice President of Leichtag Foundation. “She earns the respect and admiration of everyone she engages. Her ability to build and strengthen trusting relationships propels her experience as well as her passion and utter commitment to making a difference in Jerusalem, the city she loves and calls home.”
Chaya uniquely blends deep academic content knowledge with a highly pragmatic, innovative and entrepreneurial approach. She is an internationally-recognized educator, social activist and speaker. Besides her leadership in Jerusalem initiatives, Chaya is committed to creating alternatives within the realm of religion and state, is active in crafting creative and meaningful life cycle ceremonies and works to support the nexus of feminism and Jewish identity.
Chaya is also a founder of the Jerusalem Model, a coalition of civil society leaders and social entrepreneurs who leverage Jerusalem’s diversity as the core creative driver of the city. She has served on the Model’s Advisory Board since its inception in 2016.
Chaya was the Founding Director of Hevruta, a gap year fully integrated program for North American and Israeli students at the Shalom Hartman Institute. She also served as a Scholar in Residence at Paideia – the European Center for Jewish Studies in Sweden and is a co-founder of the Hashgacha Pratit program which introduced a new model for adherence to kashrut (Jewish dietary laws) which has now been scaled across Israel. Chaya holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy at the Hebrew University for Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Israel Rabbinic Program at the Hartman Institute.
At, Jerusalem Philanthropic Initiatives Chaya will lead a strong team already in place in Jerusalem including Ariel Markose and Yasmeen Israeli and a diverse team of advisors from all spheres of Jerusalem’s society. She will work with them as well as civil society organizations, partner funders and other stakeholders to pivot Jerusalem strategy and magnify impact in the realms of social cohesion, diversity and inclusion and transformational change.