Nancy K. Kaufman is the chief executive officer of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.
Kaufman has had a distinguished career as a public servant, advocate, and non-profit leader. Prior to joining NCJW, Kaufman served as the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Boston for twenty years, where she led the social justice, Israel advocacy, and governmental affairs agendas for Boston’s Jewish Federation and its agencies. She has also held a variety of positions related to health and human services delivery in state and local government and in the nonprofit sector, including being founding executive director of a community action agency and working for the Dukakis administration as deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Social Policy, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, and deputy commissioner of the Welfare Department for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Kaufman is a graduate of Brandeis University and received an MSW in community organization and social planning from the Boston College School of Social Work, as well as a mid-career Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is also a recipient of an honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Northeastern University. Among other honors, she received an award for Greatest Contribution to Social Policy from the National Association of Social Workers in 1980, the Alumni Achievement Award from Brandeis University in 2002, and the Woman of Valor Award in 2007 from the Jewish Funds for Justice.
Finding Your Voice: Nancy K. Kaufman discusses with me her career in building bridges between the Jewish community and the non-Jewish world around us and how this experience has changed when viewing the work through a gender specific organization.