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April 9, 2008

(San Francisco, CA) – Daniel J. Sokatch has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties (JCF) effective July 15, 2008. He will oversee the Federation’s staff of 105, and its four satellite offices located in the Federation’s service areas and Israel.

Sokatch is the founding Executive Director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA). PJA educates advocates and organizes on issues of peace, equality, diversity and justice, serving as a progressive voice in the Jewish community. Under Sokatch’s leadership, the group has grown from a membership base of 250 to over 4,000 since its founding.

In addition to his PJA position, Sokatch is also a Visiting Instructor at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles where he teaches “Social Justice and Spiritual Activism.” He is also a faculty member of Reboot, a national network that connects Jewish Americans from the literary, entertainment, hi-tech, political, social action and academic communities. 

According to JCF President, John Pritzker, "I'm thrilled that our community has secured an exciting and dynamic leader. Daniel combines energy and charisma with intelligence, Jewish wisdom and a compelling vision for the future of the Jewish community. These leadership traits will enable Danny to engage and inspire multiple generations and will help ensure that we evolve as a vibrant and relevant organization.

Speaking about his pending post with the Jewish Community Federation, Sokatch commented, "I am excited about the prospect of working with lay-leadership and staff and with the local Jewish community to write a new chapter in the history of our Jewish community.  We have the opportunity to build a Jewish Community Federation for the 21st century; one dedicated to supporting vital services and agencies while at the same time providing vehicles for engaging a new generation of Jews who demand new ways to express their Jewish commitment and identity. For me, the Jewish community, in the Federation’s service area, with its profound commitment to tzedeka (justice), tikkun olam (the repair of the world) and to a vibrant and thriving Jewish culture and community is the perfect place to do this work.  We will work to bring together Jews across the Federation’s service areas, regardless of their backgrounds, practices and beliefs, to join in building a community that reflects these values.  We want to harness the passion and commitment of our community to work for the well being of all of our service area's inhabitants, and stand with those in need in both the Jewish and general communities, here at home, in Israel and around the world."

Hiring Sokatch was the result of a thorough, methodical and inclusive process. A Search Committee, co-chaired by Federation Board members David Agger and Tom Kasten and comprised of 12 additional Federation and community leaders, worked with a national search firm to identify candidates from a wide variety of organizations and disciplines. Over 50 candidates were screened and interviewed, leading to 5 candidates who met with the Search Committee, and two finalists who spent three days in interviews with JCF stakeholders.

The Search Committee’s mandate was to find a dynamic CEO who could provide leadership, vision and strategic direction to Federation’s staff and volunteer leadership: a CEO who could increase the Federation’s vibrancy and relevancy to the area's Jewish life; identify and mobilize resources to address trends, new ideas, needs and challenges; strengthen ties with Jewish agencies and Synagogues; connect with younger donors and community activists; and serve as a convener for the Jewish community. 

Sokatch, 40, graduated from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy with an MA in Law and Diplomacy, earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston College Law School, and a BA in History from Brandeis University. He has published in works in The Los Angeles Times, Forward, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, and is included in the anthology Righteous Indignation.

Sokatch, his wife Dana and their two daughters will be relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Jewish Community Federation and Jewish Community Endowment Fund allocated, in the current fiscal year, over $200 million towards funding social services, educational and cultural programs in the Bay Area, in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere around the world.

To arrange an interview with Mr. Sokatch, please contact: Ken Lupoff, Manager, Endowment Communications, 415.512.6227, kenl@sfjcf.org.

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