FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 7/20/16
Dorfman To Take Reins of Foundation Sept. 1, Founding President To Become Foundation’s First Senior Fellow
Akron, OH –Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah announced today that Aaron Dorfman will become its second President, effective September 1, 2016. Part of Lippman Kanfer Family Philanthropies, the Foundation launched in 2013 with the purpose “to repair and enrich the world through thriving Jewish life.” Dorfman will take over the role from Jonathan Woocher, PhD, who will remain on the Foundation’s professional staff as its inaugural Senior Fellow.
“I’m honored,” Dorfman shared, “to have been chosen to work alongside the board, staff, and grantees of Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah to build upon and grow the Foundation’s impact. In this era of complexity and uncertainty, I believe that Judaism’s ever-growing reservoir of wisdom can offer valuable guidance for our personal lives, our communities, and the broader world. I’m grateful for the strong foundation laid by Jon Woocher and am excited by the opportunity to continue to catalyze meaningful and lasting change.”
A Brooklyn resident with more than 20 years of experience in the Jewish community, Aaron Dorfman spent a decade at American Jewish World Service, rising from Director of Education to Vice President for National Programs, building the division and managing both program strategy and grantmaking with great success, overseeing strategic planning and an organizational restructure. An alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Dorfman was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and has also trained with the AK Rice Institute and the Rockwood Leadership Program. He began his career as the Director of Informal Education at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, CA. Known as an effective and inclusive agent for social change as well as a respected leader, Dorfman will be returning to the Jewish professional world from his most recent role as Vice President and Campaign Director at Encore.org, an organization that mobilizes older adults to support the social good.
“Aaron brings passion, vision, and expertise to our Foundation’s work,” says Board Chair Marcella Kanfer Rolnick. “His experience building and leading teams and strategic change will help advance our impact in the Jewish community. We look forward to what he will be able to bring to our partner and grantee relationships, as a thought leader and an experienced educator in his own right.” Kanfer Rolnick cited Dorfman’s wide interests, dedication to family, strong Jewish values, and “menschlichkeit” as key reasons the board selected him as President. She added, “Aaron has big shoes to fill, following our first President, Dr. Jonathan Woocher. We’re confident he will do so, in collaboration with our other Foundation colleagues, and we’re also delighted that Jon will continue to be a unique intellectual resource for the Foundation in his new role as Senior Fellow.”
“It’s been a privilege,” said Woocher, “to shape the Foundation as it emerged into the Jewish world with its mission to help Jews and fellow travelers apply Jewish wisdom and sensibilities to live better lives and shape a better world. Aaron is uniquely qualified to take the Foundation forward on the next steps in its journey. I look forward to remaining actively involved and working under Aaron’s leadership to further the work of Living Torah.”
Since its founding in 2013, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah has distributed more than $4.4 million in grants to over 40 grantees, hosted a number of gatherings convening Jewish professionals, funders and other thought leaders, released a Jewish Sensibilities card deck as a tool for the field with over 2,300 distributed to date, and launched the Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom, which will award its first prizes this December.