Jewish leadership initiative hires Gali Cooks as executive director


(JTA) — Gali Cooks was named executive director of the Jewish Leadership Pipelines Alliance, a newly formed group aimed at finding and developing leaders for Jewish nonprofits.

Cooks, the founding director of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s highly regarded PJ Library, will start in her new post on Oct. 13, the alliance announced Monday. She also was the executive director of the Rita J. & Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation.

“Gali brings a unique professional skill set, a startup mentality and deep institutional respect to this role,” said Rachel Garbow Monroe, CEO of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and chair of the Jewish Leadership Pipelines Alliance, in a statement. “Her passion will help us support, champion and build efforts that will ensure a vibrant future for Jewish nonprofits across North America.”

The alliance was convened to address what is expected to be a major turnover of senior executives at Jewish nonprofits, particularly at the CEO level, in the next five to seven years.

Jewish nonprofits have already reported having difficulty in filling high-level executive positions in recent years, according to the JLPA, leading more than 20 major Jewish nonprofits, including family foundations and major federations, to found JLPA. The groups have agreed to fund the alliance with $1 million over two years.

Based on an initial report developed by The Bridgespan Group, JLPA’s initial priorities include programs to help new CEOs integrate into their positions, a coordinated effort with lay leadership to develop executive talent and efforts to prioritize the quality of work environments at Jewish nonprofits.

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