The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) announced on Monday that Elana Broitman, a Capitol Hill veteran and former top Pentagon official, has been tapped as senior vice president for public affairs.

In her new role, Broitman will lead JFNA’s work to engage all the elements of civil society in helping support Jewish life, and strong and engaged civic communities.

She previously served as a senior adviser for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and was U.S. acting deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing and industrial-base policy under former U.S. President Barack Obama. A lawyer, she worked on cases for the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, in addition to being an advisor to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Europe and newly independent states operations.

“There is no doubt that Elana is the right fit for this important position at the right time,” said JFNA board chair Mark Wilf in a statement released by JFNA. “She feels passionately about the Jewish community and has been a lifelong advocate for the issues we care about most, including communal security, bringing services to those in need, charitable giving and supporting the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

“This is one of the most important jobs in the North American Jewish community, especially at this critical time,” said JFNA president and CEO Eric Fingerhut in the statement.

“To thrive in this uncertain environment, we must be fully engaged with the decision making and decision-makers in our civil society,” he continued. “This is the only way we will keep our communities healthy and safe, protect the needs of Holocaust survivors and other vulnerable groups, support Israel and Jews around the globe, and be good partners to all who wish us well and want to work together to sustain the open and supportive civil society that has allowed the Jewish communities of North America to flourish.”

In the statement, Broitman noted that “so much of what I have accomplished professionally has led me to this position. As an active member of the Jewish community, I have always been proud to secure programs that help those in need and strengthen civic engagement. And now, I will get to do that manifold while empowering others.

“My family instilled in me the importance of making the world a better place, and as new immigrants, we worked hard to embrace American idealism and opportunities. Being able to give back—as a representative of the Jewish community that welcomed us and shaped who I am—makes this work particularly meaningful. I am truly honored and humbled to join the Jewish Federations team and to work with communities throughout North America.”

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