Jennifer Raskas is Washington, D.C. Manager at Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where she oversees all program development, management and partnerships in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
She is a graduate of Columbia University, Magna Cum Laude, with a BA in psychology and political science. Jennifer received a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she studied democracy, leadership, management, and Middle East studies. She chaired the Harvard Kennedy School Jewish Caucus, co-ran an Interfaith Council as well as led delegations to Israel for leaders from 25 different countries.
Jennifer has focused her career on enriching Jewish communal learning and deepening diverse and compelling relationships between American Jews and Israel, most recently at the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington, where she served as the Director of the Israel Action Center. At the JCRC, she worked with Washington DC area rabbinic, professional and lay leadership to advise local area synagogues, JCC’s, day schools, youth groups and young professional networks in ways to deepen their connection to Israel and World Jewry. With colleagues from The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, she co-led and taught a nationally recognized Israel fellowship program for pre-college students.
Jennifer has extensive experience in both formal and informal Jewish education, both as an educator and as a leader who has brought educational value to a variety of institutions. She served as Vice President of Adult Education in multiple synagogues, teaches classes on Hebrew literary approaches to readings in Tanakh and she is a trained educator for the Matan Institute of Torah Studies program – Jewish Women Through the Ages. She is also a co-founder of WISDOM – the Women’s Initiative for Sustained Dialogue on Orthodoxy and Modernity. Her writings have appeared in academic journals and in online Jewish learning forums in both written and video format.
Previously she worked for the Maryland/Israel Development Center, the Israel Economic Mission in Houston, Texas, and served as a Public Affairs Officer at Israel’s Embassy in Washington, DC.
Jennifer lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and three children.