Jennifer Gorovitz Steps Down as San Francisco Jewish Federation Chief

Only Woman To Lead Big Federation Will Leave in March

Void at the Top: Jennifer Gorovitz will be stepping down as head of the San Francisco Jewish federation. She was the only woman leading a major federation in the U.S.
jewish community federation
Void at the Top: Jennifer Gorovitz will be stepping down as head of the San Francisco Jewish federation. She was the only woman leading a major federation in the U.S.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published January 03, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Jennifer Gorovitz, the chief executive officer of San Francisco’s Jewish federation and the only woman to head a large Jewish federation in the United States, announced that she will resign from her position at the end of March.

Gorovitz announced her resignation in a letter circulated by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties on January 3, saying that she hoped to spend more time with her family and to practice law. She became the organization’s acting CEO in 2009 and has been with the organization since 2004.

“This decision was not easy,” Gorovitz wrote in her letter. “I am still as passionate and committed to the work of the Federation and the Endowment Fund as I was nearly a decade ago.”

When the federation made Gorovitz its CEO in 2010, she was the first woman to be the CEO of a large Jewish federation. She remains the only woman to have such a position in the United States. The Montreal federation, also among the large North American federations, is also headed by a woman.

The San Francisco federation drew $88 million in contributions in 2012 and $115 million in 2011. In her letter, Gorovitz said she was particularly proud of a handful of new programs aimed at engaging younger Jews, including a local post-Birthright initiative. She said that she would focus on trust and estate planning when she returns to the law.

According to an independent analysis of the Forward’s 2013 survey of Jewish communal salaries, Gorovitz was vastly underpaid relative to other leaders of Jewish organizations. Her 2012 salary of $311,044 was less than that of 31 Jewish organizational leaders on the Forward’s survey.

Gorovitz’s impending departure makes the San Francisco federation the fifth large or large-intermediate sized federation to be seeking a new CEO in 2014.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.