Jeri Zimmerman will join the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley staff in late February as the new assistant executive director. In this position, Zimmerman will assume primary professional leadership over the Annual Campaign.
Zimmerman comes to the Lehigh Valley with significant Jewish Federation and Jewish communal professional experience. For the past 12 years, Zimmerman was the director of the Center for Israel and Overseas at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, where she provided coordination and leadership for funding and fundraising related to that Federation’s Israel and overseas agenda. As the founding director of that department, she led efforts to develop initiatives to strengthen relationships between synagogues, schools and agencies with the Federation’s overseas projects. She provided liaison services for donors interested in funding specific overseas projects and was instrumental in the creation of the Philadelphia Jewish Federation’s initiative Israel360, an intensive program linking young adults to Israel.
Her extensive Jewish communal experience also includes seven years as the Philadelphia regional director of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, and 10 years as the executive director of the UJA/Federation of Princeton, New Jersey. In both those positions she directed fundraising efforts, missions to Israel, and special event programming. At the Princeton UJA/Federation, Zimmerman was instrumental in growing the annual campaign, strengthening the local agency service delivery system, and leading the strategic efforts to merge two Jewish federations, creating the Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks in 1996.
A graduate of Temple University, Zimmerman also holds a master of education in community counseling from Lehigh University. Zimmerman and her husband Len, director of development at Gratz College, have another local connection: Lehigh Valley is also the home to their grandson, Liav, and his parents Dr. Elliot and Chelsea Busch. Zimmerman and her husband are also the parents of Michael, and his wife Carly, Zach, Shai and Gadi.
Zimmerman succeeds Judy Diamondstein who resigned to become the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.
Zimmerman is excited to get to work. “I am delighted to be joining the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and to be part of the dedicated staff team,” she said. “I'm also excited to meet and work with the community members to strengthen and support the local community, Israel and overseas Jewish communities. It is a privilege to be able to share my passion for Jewish communal life with such a vibrant community as the Lehigh Valley.”