JFGO names new executive director
The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando announces that Olga Yorish has joined the organization to be its executive director. Yorish has more than 20 years of experience within the Jewish Federation system.
“Our search for an extraordinary leader to direct JFGO has been thorough and extensive,” says Michael Soll, co-chairman of the board of directors. “The search committee has worked extensively to ensure the chosen candidate will lead Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando in its renewed vision and passion set forth by dedicated volunteers and community members. The search committee and board of directors chose Olga because of her proven track record of strong leadership, innovation and commitment to building Jewish community.”
Yorish was born in St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia and is a former refusenik, who emigrated in 1989. She holds a master’s degree in metallurgical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute in Leningrad. Once in the United States, Yorish furthered her education and was the first Jew from the former Soviet Union to receive a Federation Executive Education and Recruitment Program scholarship from the Council of Jewish Federations to attend the Hornstein Program for Jewish Communal Service at Brandeis University. She was the first Jew from the former Soviet Union to attend the Hornstein Program. In 1992, Yorish graduated with a master’s degree in Jewish communal service and began her career with the Jewish Federation system. Most recently, she was head of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford in Massachusetts. Her extensive experience includes financial resource development, executive leadership, planning and allocations.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando has done a remarkable job transforming itself into a catalyst and a portal for all things Jewish in Central Florida, says a member of the search committee. In order to serve the needs of the evolving Jewish community, JFGO has expanded its programs to be more inclusive and relevant to a larger audience.
“I am eager to be part of this incredible mission, organization and community,” says Yorish. “It is a critical time for the Orlando Jewish community in shaping its Jewish landscape. As I step in to this role I draw upon past experience and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”
Ryan Lefkowitz, co-chairman of the board of directors says, “Our Jewish community is scattered all over town. Finding special connections to the Jewish community is not necessarily easy. This is where the Federation steps in. Through its programs and services, we touch so many lives. We have listened to our stakeholders, and that has helped shape the Federation of today.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando’s mission is to nurture a unified Jewish community that transcends generations and neighborhoods. The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando has been in existence for more than 60 years. We are part of a greater umbrella, the Jewish Federations of North America, which represents 155 Jewish Federations and more than 300 Network communities, raise and distribute more than $3 billion annually for social welfare, social services and educational needs. The Federation movement collectively is among the top 10 charities on the continent, protecting and enhancing the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of charity, social justice and learning. For more information on the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando’s programming initiatives visit, http://www.jfgo.org.