After 20 years shaping the mission and work of Jewish Women International (JWI), Lori Weinstein announced today that she will be stepping down as CEO at the end of 2019. JWI’s Board of Trustees has named current Chief Operating Officer Meredith Jacobs as its incoming CEO.
Weinstein is credited for overseeing the organization’s transition from the membership-based B’nai B’rith Women to mission-based Jewish Women International. Under her visionary leadership, JWI created a rich portfolio of programmatic, philanthropic, and advocacy initiatives that empower the lives of women and girls – from college campuses to domestic violence shelters to the halls of Congress – that champion the prevention of all forms violence and build an ever-growing platform of women’s leadership initiatives.
Weinstein, who will assume the title of JWI’s CEO Emeritus at the end of December will take on a smaller role within the organization as well as begin consulting on women’s leadership and philanthropy.
This seamless leadership transition between Weinstein and Jacobs has been in process for some time and the full board unanimously endorsed the personnel committee’s recommendation that Jacobs be appointed to the position of JWI CEO.
Prior to joining JWI, Jacobs, a best-selling author, served as editor-in-chief of The Washington Jewish Week, building relationships with the Greater Washington Jewish community and leading the paper to win multiple awards. A former radio and television host, she pioneered online communities for Jewish women through her website, ModernJewishMom.com, which later merged with kveller.com.
She has taken a leading role expanding the organization’s women’s leadership programming and mentoring initiatives, as well as its work to ensure safety, respect, and equity in the Jewish communal workplace.
“JWI, as it stands today – strong, vibrant, perfectly in line with the young women of today and tomorrow – is because of the leadership and vision of Lori Weinstein,” Jacobs said. “She has reinvented what it means to be a Jewish women’s organization so that it has both legacy and longevity. Not only was she always one-step ahead, she has positioned JWI to remain at the leading edge for the next 120 years. I will continue to build upon that strong foundation.”
She continued, “My mother was a BBW, my father was president of his B’nai B’rith lodge, my daughter served on the international board of BBYO, and my son founded an AZA chapter. JWI’s history is my family’s history. I am honored to take it into its future.”