The Role of the Executive Director:
Managing relationships among all staff
Navigating the relationships between senior staff and lay leadership is critical!
David A. Mersky, Founder and Managing Director, has led planning and fundraising endeavors for more than three decades. A former congregational rabbi, he has served as the national director of resource development for the then Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He was head of corporate finance for Ampal-American Israel Corporation which raised hundreds of millions of dollars of investment capital for Israel’s private sector. He also served as vice-president of resource development of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. A successful consultant to nonprofits and family-controlled enterprises for nearly twenty years, David is also faculty member of Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership and director of education and professional development of the University’s Institute for Jewish Philanthropy and Leadership.
Rachel M. Woda, Associate, has broad experience in campaign management, leadership development, event planning, financial and human resource development. For the last 20 years, Rachel has worked with a wide variety of non-profit organizations at the local, regional and national level including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and the Union for Reform Judaism. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees and Chairs the Youth and Leadership Development Committees of Temple Beth-El (in Providence, Rhode Island) as well as serving as a Board member of Jewish Family Services in Providence, Rhode Island.
Abigail Harmon, Associate and Creative Director, has been working with Mersky, Jaffe & Associates for more than ten years. She has aided a variety of clients both on-site and behind-the-scenes to increase capital campaigns and annual funds, conduct feasibility studies and develop sound strategic plans. In addition, she supervises all marketing, copywriting and design both for the firm and its clients and writes the MJA electronic newsletter – Resources (you can subscribe to the weekly newsletter by clicking here).
A graduate of the Boston University School of Management, she has worked as Director of Development and Special Programs for Boston Film & Video Foundation. She began her career in advertising by working for BBDO Worldwide in New York, and Hill, Holliday in Boston. In addition, she has previously served as a board member and chair of the strategic planning committee for the Brattle Film Foundation and as a member and the development committee chair of the Needham Education Foundation.