May 23rd, 2013 | University

Slifka Center names new executive

After a year of structural transitions, Rabbi Leah Cohen has been chosen as the center’s new executive to begin this summer, according to a Wednesday email to the Slifka community from Slifka Center President David Slifka ’01.

Interim executive director David Raphael told the News in January that the board has re-evaluated its spending and fundraising methods over the past year. The center has also undergone leadership changes after the departure of four staff members in spring 2012, including former executive director Steve Sitrin, and the Board of Trustees has been reappointed to include members with more finance and managerial experience.

Raphael also said he hoped the new executive director would be able to inherit a Slifka Center with “foundational elements” already in place so he or she would have the freedom to move forward.

Cohen previously worked in the healthcare field and has over a decade of business experience, Slifka said in his email. As a rabbi at Temple B’nai Chaim in Georgetown, Conn, she led the congregation through a period of growth and transition, the email said.

“Who could better lead our amazing student body, talented staff, and multifaceted community than a knowledgeable and compassionate rabbi with a decade of business experience, who speaks five languages and competes in triathlons?” David Slifka wrote.

A 10-person search that included students as well as members of the Slifka Executive Board selected Cohen from over 45 initial applicants. The job pool was narrowed down through preliminary interviews in February and in-person interviews over the past two months.