TITLE: Executive Director
FOCUS AREAS: Economic security, legal reform, health and well-being, education, and leadership development for Jewish women and girls
CONTACT: 312-357-4850, online form
PROFILE: Ellen B. Carmell became the executive director of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago in January 2015. Before this, she was the director of the Bridging America Project for the American Jewish Committee.
Her professional bio shares:
Ellen joined JWF as its Executive Director in January 2015. With over two decades of leadership in the non-profit sector and a strong commitment to the Jewish community, Ellen comes to JWF with experience in grants, board development, program administration, volunteer management, community outreach and advocacy.
Prior to JWF, Ellen was Director of the Bridging America Project at AJC (American Jewish Committee) where she was responsible for the strategy, operations and finances of a national initiative to strengthen Latino-Jewish relations and advance immigration reform.
Ellen began her career as a museum educator and was the first Director of Education at the Terra Museum of American Art in Chicago. After many years as a museum professional and active lay leader, she decided to launch her "Encore Career" by putting her passions to work for the greater good -- devoting the second act of her professional life to social change within a Jewish context.
Ellen has been involved with Facing History and Ourselves for over 25 years and currently serves on its Board of Directors, Committee on Governance, and Chicago Advisory Board as a past Chair. She also served in numerous lay leader positions at Temple Beth-El in Northbrook.
Ellen holds a Master's Degree in Museum Education from The George Washington University and a Bachelor's Degree in Art History and Psychology from Smith College. She studied Non-profit Board Governance at the Center for Non-profit Management at the Kellogg School of Management. Ellen and her husband David live in Chicago; they have two children and two grandchildren.
You can learn more about her background in the Jewish United Fund’s article, “Ellen B. Carmell takes the lead at Jewish Women's Foundation.”