JFGO executive director bows out


August 25, 2017

Olga Yorish

The Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando (JFGO) has announced that Executive Director Olga Yorish will be leaving to pursue other professional opportunities effective Aug. 31, 2017. The Federation will unveil key initiatives of its path forward at its Annual Meeting scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 27, at the Maitland Jewish Community Campus. Supporters of JFGO's Campus 2020 Debt Retirement Campaign will be honored at the meeting.

Yorish joined the Federation in 2013 at an extremely challenging time for the Orlando Jewish community. In the aftermath of the national economic downturn, the Federation found itself with diminished resources and saddled with debt associated with the Maitland campus. During her tenure Yorish re-engaged key donors and implemented innovative programming with an added focus on community-building and young family outreach/engagement. Her leadership helped to grow the annual campaign and stabilize JFGO's finances, in part through a significant reduction in overhead expenses. She was also instrumental in launching the Campus 2020 campaign and implementing security upgrades on the Maitland campus.

"The Orlando Jewish community has been fortunate to be in the guiding hands of Olga since 2013, which has positioned us to take bold new steps into the future," said Federation President Rhonda Forest. "We are grateful for her service and wish her the very best."

Forest will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Federation along with the JFGO Transition Task Force, a group of 10 board members that has been established to carry out the Federation's ongoing strategic planning initiatives and provide support to JFGO staff as the search for a future executive leader is conducted.

The Federation's Board of Directors is composed of a dynamic group of young and veteran community leaders and professionals dedicated to serve the Jewish community. The Board welcomes the opportunity to refine the Federation's strategic direction and identify a new executive leader in parallel. As the Federation prepares to address the future, it has the needs of a new generation in mind. The organization will focus on functions that are essential to the community and can be executed most effectively by the Federation, such as leadership development, outreach, issues advocacy, and support of Israel and global Jewish causes. Funds will be raised to execute a budget set to accomplish JFGO's core work, with additional resources used to help the community's organizations and synagogues meet their own goals. The Federation will continue its stewardship of the Maitland campus, a historic community asset. Key aspects of the leadership's vision for the future will be revealed at the Annual Meeting.

JFGO is a part of a national umbrella organization, the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) which represents 155 Jewish Federations in the United States. JFNA raises and distributes more than $3 billion annually for social services and educational needs. Locally, JFGO has distributed more than $430,000 since 2015 in grants that fully or partially subsidized collaborative community activities and services, educational programming and cultural events.

The Federation owns, subsidizes and manages the 13-acre Maitland Jewish Community Campus, which is home to The Roth Family Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Academy of Orlando and the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida.


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