Elluminate Announces a New CEO

Jun 20, 2023 | In The Media


New York – June 20, 2023 – Melanie Roth Gorelick, a visionary leader in local, national and global non-profit and advocacy organizations, and a prominent champion in the spheres of social justice and women’s rights, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Elluminate, formerly known as the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York. 


Gorelick, who will assume the CEO position on July 10, was most recently Senior Vice President of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the umbrella organization of Jewish Community Relations Councils (JCRCs) and national Jewish agencies. Prior to that, she served as Director of the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, and as Advocacy Facility Manager of the United Nations Development Fund for Women. 


“It is an honor to join the Elluminate team as CEO,” Gorelick said, “and I am thrilled to be working with an illustrious mission-driven Board and staff, and a community of visionary change makers and philanthropists invested in elevating Jewish women leadership and advancing social and gender justice. 


“Elluminate had the foresight to create a unique and much-needed platform to support and elevate Jewish women not-for-profit leaders, who are on the front lines of pressing issues in today’s polarized society, championing social justice issues through a gender lens.


“My vision is to strengthen and deepen Elluminate’s impact to ensure that we leverage the passion, courage and commitment of Jewish women leaders to create a more equitable society.”


The announcement comes after a rigorous search and interviewing process. Gorelick succeeds former Elluminate CEO Jamie Allen Black. 


“We are thrilled to welcome Melanie as our new CEO. Her vast experience in the social justice arena perfectly aligns with Elluminate’s mission of empowering Jewish women social entrepreneurs and intentional philanthropists and will be a tremendous asset in advancing not only our programming, but also the field of feminist leadership and philanthropy,” said Rachel Weinstein, Board President of Elluminate. 


“Melanie brings exceptional leadership and vision that will serve Elluminate on its continued trajectory of growth, evolution, and impact, and we are immensely excited to partner with her for our next chapter.”


As Senior Vice President of JCPA from 2016 until this month, Gorelick helped to rebrand and navigate the organization’s public policy work to build a just and pluralistic society through the pandemic, a period of heightened polarization, and organizational restructuring. She created the policy advisory committee to bring representatives from JCRCs, national organizations from the Reform to Orthodox movements, and JCPA leaders to develop and implement consensus policy positions and address pressing challenges. 


Most recently, Gorelick was instrumental in JCPA’s adoption and implementation of a racial justice platform, the launch of national and local coalitions on criminal justice reform and the creation of a Jewish values statement on mass incarceration. Since 2021, she held executive responsibility for JCPA operations. 


As Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest Community Relations Committee in New Jersey from 2006 to 2016, Gorelick designed and led advocacy strategies on a range of social justice issues and Jewish community priorities. She founded the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking, composed of diverse community leaders and advocacy groups, which has achieved legislative successes and mobilizes activists and law enforcement officials to address and deter human trafficking. She created the first New Jersey Domestic Violence Public Policy Roundtable meeting, which led to the establishment of a statewide coalition.


Her life’s work in the realms of women’s rights, community relations and social justice causes has been recognized with an “Outstanding Human Rights Community Activist” award from Kean University, and an “Outstanding Government Affairs Professional” citation by the Jewish Federations of North America. 


In 2022, Gorelick produced and wrote a short documentary, “A Feminist Lens: Art & Activism of Photographer Joan Roth,” and launched “Making Women Visible: The Joan Roth Legacy Project” to highlight the plight of women through film, photography and storytelling.  


About Elluminate: Elluminate (formerly the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York) empowers trailblazing Jewish entrepreneurial women and visionary feminist philanthropists in their pursuit of systemic social change in the U.S. and beyond. Bringing together a diverse coalition of bold women, we address the unique challenges faced by female leaders, ensuring that they are supported and elevated as they battle to change the world. Together, we work as a force multiplier for vital social change, fostering collaboration, strengthening leadership capabilities, magnifying voices, and accelerating transformational influence and impact. www.elluminatewomen.org