Lisa Lepson has joined the Forward as VP of Development. As the publication sharpens its focus on its digital readership and platform, Lisa will lead the strategic direction and development of a growing fundraising effort to support independent Jewish journalism in English and Yiddish.
Lisa joins the Forward from UpStart, where as Chief Advancement Office she worked to empower the Jewish community’s entrepreneurial leaders and support them with resources and tools for success. Prior to UpStart, Lisa was Executive Director of Joshua Venture Group (JVG).
Lisa was both an internal and external champion for the four-party merger of Bikkurim, Joshua Venture Group, the US programs of PresenTense and UpStart: raising funds for the process and navigating complexities of the merger. A year after the merger, UpStart’s budget increased more than 50% than the previous organizations’ combined, underscoring the potential impact of the unification of these entities.
As executive director at JVG, Lisa led the organization to nurture and provide seed funding for four cohorts of 24 total Fellows who are transforming the landscape of Jewish life. These Fellows founded changemaking organizations, such as Bimbam, Wilderness Torah, Lookstein Jewish Virtual Academy, SVARA, Jewish Studio Project and others.