These federations are driving impactful climate action reducing carbon footprints while saving money and increasing communal engagement. Join us to hear three case studies from a diverse set of communities, and then participate as we think together about what models are most replicable and how we might accelerate the pace of change across the federation system.
Jewish Federations Leading on Climate
Jakir Manela is the CEO of Hazon and Pearlstone, just outside of Baltimore, MD. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2004, and after training as a Teva Jewish outdoor environmental educator, he founded Kayam Farm at Pearlstone in 2006. Jakir was promoted to become Pearlstone’s Executive Director in 2012, helping to lead an amazing team engaging over 22,000 participants each year in immersive retreats, experiential Jewish outdoor education, and community sustainability initiatives. Jakir works collaboratively with a wonderful staff and board, as well as supportive funders and partners, leading Pearlstone towards a campus master plan and $20 million capital campaign that will transform Pearlstone’s 180-acre campus and double its impact. Jakir was the 2014 JCSA North American Young Professional of the Year, and received the inaugural Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom in 2016 for the groundbreaking Jewish farm-based curricula Chai VeKayam & Hadrah Alach. For the past ten years, Jakir has helped lead Pearlstone to its perennial status in the Slingshot Guide as one of the most innovative Jewish organizations in North America. Jakir lives just up the road from Pearlstone with his incredible wife Nets, four boys ages 4 to 14, and an energetic puppy named Gaia. He coaches youth sports and loves building campfires and making music with friends.
Adam Greenman is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island. In that role he leads an organization focused on creating a strong, vibrant, inclusive community for all Jewish Rhode Island. Prior to joining the Alliance in August 2017, Adam spent eight years at United Way of Rhode Island in various leadership roles, most recently as Executive Vice President for Community Investment. Adam began his career as a middle school social studies teacher in Camden, NJ with the Teach For America program. He holds a Doctorate in Education from Northeastern University, an MPA from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Communication from The George Washington University. He lives in Pawtucket with his wife and two daughters.
Shelley Rivkin RSW MSW has many years’ experience working with a wide range of community organizations and stakeholders on a variety issues to respond to and address community needs. She oversees Federation’s central planning and grants distribution processes. Since joining Jewish Federation in 2007, she has worked collaboratively with partner agencies and community volunteers on initiatives ranging from day school education, youth at risk, community security and environmental sustainability. She has been the driving force behind a number of Federation’s strategic priorities including food security, regional community engagement and the Community Recovery Task Force. In addition to her work at Federation, Shelley sits on the board of the Louis Brier Home and Hospital and teaches in the social work department of Langara College
Mark Smolarz is the Chief Operating and Financial Officer of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. Prior to joining The Associated in February 2004, he started his career with Ernst & Young and then moved to similar positions as he does now for two health care organizations and the Baltimore City Public Schools System. He also has served on many other not for profit Boards over the years from Healthcare for the Homeless to Baltimore Trees Trust because he cannot get enough of pushing and supporting sustainability measures.