Jewish Learning Venture Announces Elana Rivel As New Chief Executive Officer

A white woman with short-cropped grey hair, silver glasses, a silver necklace, and a bright blue shirt stands smiling in front of a blurred background with trees and grass.The Board of Directors of Jewish Learning Venture (JLV) is proud to announce that Elana Rivel, an experienced leader of nonprofit Jewish educational organizations, has been selected to serve as JLV’s new Chief Executive Officer, beginning September 1st.

JLV provides a variety of programs and services that empower families to make Judaism more meaningful and relevant. Its innovative programs, namely jkidphilly, Whole Community Inclusion and Jewish Education Leadership Development programs, guide families and leaders of Jewish organizations to see Judaism as a means to a thriving life.

“We are thrilled to welcome Elana back to the JLV family,” said Walter Ferst, JLV President. “She brings deep understanding of our mission and values, along with proven success as a national leader in this important field of work.” Rivel previously worked at JLV for over 12 years, last serving as its Associate Director.

Rivel has served as a leader in Jewish nonprofit organizations ranging from Camp Ramah in the Poconos, Penn State Hillel, Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas, TX, and most recently as Director of Ramah Day Camp, Philadelphia. In her tenure at JLV, Rivel helped to develop and manage numerous innovative initiatives that became national models, such as One Book, One Jewish Community, jkidphilly and LeV: Getting to the Heart of Jewish Education.

Rivel chose to return to JLV because it is a unique organization not only in Philadelphia, but also nationally. “I feel drawn to Jewish Learning Venture because its powerful programs and supporting initiatives are meaningful, resonant, and inspire community growth,” said Rivel, “and, in many ways, JLV is where I truly developed my professional skills. I am excited to come back to lead this important agency.”

Rivel expects to continue to grow and strengthen JLV’s current programming and assess where new opportunities may exist. “This is a critical time in our American Jewish community as we move into post-pandemic living and I believe our families and our institutions will need even more guidance, support, networks and opportunities for growth and innovation.” said Rivel.

Ferst on behalf of the JLV Board remarked, “We are grateful to Anna Marx and Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer for their work this year, serving as Co-Interim Executive Directors, ensuring that the agency not only continued to move forward, but also thrived, responding to the pandemic with important resources and programming, taking care of the staff team, guiding the Board through strategic and tactical processes and making challenging decisions during extraordinary times”; and Rivel remarked, “I am excited to have the opportunity to work once again with Anna and Gabby and the other JLV professionals.”

JLV envisions individuals, families and institutions engaged in dynamic, connected Jewish life in Greater Philadelphia and beyond. Through its models of Jewish education and outreach, JLV inspires and empowers individuals and families to make Jewish life, learning, and community relevant and meaningful. For more information about JLV, go to:;; and