|Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Elects New President|
|Thursday, May 31, 2018|
Houston, TX – Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston has elected Lauren Kaufman Blachman as the new president of its Board of Directors. She was officially sworn in as president for a two-year term on May 15, 2018 at the 82nd Annual Meeting. The evening also honored former president Debbie Kaplan.
“I am excited to take on this responsibility and privilege of leading the J’s volunteer team and getting to partner with an incredible staff, so ably led by Chief Executive Officer Joel Dinkin,” said Kaufman Blachman. “I feel very fortunate, but prepared to take the helm, from the experience I have had watching so many talented presidents who have come before me,” she continued.
Kaufman Blachman has been involved with the J for over 20 years, since returning to Houston from New York. She has served for many years on the executive committee; her most recent efforts included a focus on the teen community. For the past eight years, she served as adult chair for J-Serve Houston, the largest teen community service event. Throughout the year, the program is designed and implemented by a team of teen leaders and teen professionals as a leadership development experience. She also created and facilitated Target Teen Leadership, a five-part teen leadership development program now in its sixth year. In addition, Kaufman Blachman co-chaired the fundraising campaign for the redesign of the Merfish Teen Center.
Her involvement with the J is extensive and diverse and has also included serving as chair of the Human Resources Committee, Adult Services Committee and ball chair of Children’s Scholarship Ball. In 2017 she and her husband Jeremy were honored at the Children’s Scholarship Ball.
Her commitment to the Jewish community is clear, not only through her work with the J, but she has also served as president of the Shlenker School Board of Trustees and is currently on the executive committee of The Emery/Weiner School Board, and the Houston Jewish Community Foundation Board.
Being involved in the community is an integral part of Kaufman Blachman’s heritage. “I grew up at the J, attending camp here since I was two years old. I was a camp counselor and participated in BBYO. At home, I heard about the organization at my dinner table as my parents, Ann and Stephen Kaufman, have both served as presidents of the J, and my mother, Ann, was president of the national movement, JCCA,” she said.
Her goals for her term as president include “continuing the great work done by Debbie Kaplan and our terrific board of directors, which guided us through the difficult initial phase of Harvey recovery. As we continue to recover and rebuild, we will find new and meaningful ways to engage our evolving community, partner with other organizations and envision our future together,” said Kaufman Blachman.
She continued, “The diversity of the programs and constituencies we serve is inspiring, as are the group of people who devote their time through volunteering and leading. I look forward to engaging their creativity to move us forward as a team and finding unique ways to be innovative in our programming and the ways we serve our members and the Jewish and larger community.”
“The J is very fortunate to have Lauren Kaufman Blachman to serve as president. She has demonstrated her leadership at many organizations in Houston, and we are lucky to have her leading the J and partnering with a dedicated group of lay leaders and staff,” said Dinkin.
Kaufman Blachman has over 30 years experience in human resources leadership roles in both business units and corporate offices. She has her own executive coaching, leadership training and facilitation business, Kaufman Blachman Consulting, and helps business and non-profit leaders reach their potential. She received her master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University, and undergraduate degrees in history and business from Washington University in St. Louis. She is married to Jeremy Blachman and has two adult children, Abby and Ben.
Former Board President Debbie Kaplan said, “Lauren Kaufman Blachman is a proven leader in our community. She has committed herself to important leadership roles on key committees and programs throughout her longtime service to the agency. Lauren will continue to move the J forward, and under her leadership the board will build upon their foundation and vision for the future of the J,” she said.
At the Annual Meeting Kaplan ended her three-year term as president, officially passing the torch to Kaufman Blachman. She also presented The Reuben Askanase Past President’s Leadership Award to board members Erin Johnson and Diane Lee Kraitman.
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