The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is thrilled to announce that Michael Balaban has been selected as its new President & CEO. He will begin this role starting June 1, 2021.
Michael has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit management. He previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federation of Broward County, a position he has held since 2016. Prior to Broward, he served as the Chief Development Officer for the Atlanta Jewish Federation.
“Michael has been an outstanding leader at the Jewish Federations of Broward and Atlanta,” said Gail Norry, Search Committee Co-Chair and Jewish Federation Board Co-Chair. “He has strong relationships both in and outside the Jewish community, with lay leaders and professionals. Our communal work is sacred, and we have been building our community in anticipation of the right leader. Michael is the right leader to galvanize our leadership and bring us to new heights.”
Michael looks forward to partnering with the Jewish Federation’s lay leadership and professional staff to continue the sacred work of building Philadelphia’s diverse Jewish community. “Providing many ways for people to experience and express their Jewish identity is the key to creating a healthy and vibrant community,” he said. “Our role is to guarantee that when a person wishes to access the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience, the mechanisms are in place.”
Under Michael’s leadership, the Jewish Federation of Broward County became the highest rated and one of the most respected non-profits in Broward County, FL. He transformed that Jewish Federation into a best-practice model for total financial resource development. Fundraising efforts increased from $13 million a year to over $18 million with an increase in unrestricted assets surpassing $100 million and total assets climbing to $178 million.
During his tenure, the Broward Federation also provided distinguished service to the community during Hurricane Irma, after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and throughout the pandemic. Michael was recognized by Broward County as a Person of Influence and appointed by the Miami Herald to the CEO Roundtable.
He has also proudly served the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island, the Columbus Jewish Federation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles in senior financial resource development and community planning roles.
David Adelman, Search Committee Co-Chair and Jewish Federation Board Co-Chair, said that the search committee was pleased with the number of excellent candidates who applied for the position. “Michael rose to the top as a person of great character, with an outstanding record of accomplishments and a strong passion for our mission,” he said. “We have no doubt he will quickly become a trusted and respected community leader. We know he will build bridges, energize staff, leadership and donors, and implement new strategies and tactics that will position the Jewish Federation for the future.”
Michael has also held the role of Director of Development for Penn Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He has extensive experience as a development consultant and professional for clients and organizations including the National Park Service, Treatment Research Institute, Girl Scouts of America, Charles E. Smith Day School, Gratz College, Touro Synagogue, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Michael earned Master’s degrees in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College. In 2019 he received an honorary Doctorate in Nonprofit Management from Hebrew Union College. He is an alumnus of the inaugural class of the Jewish Federation of North America’s Fundraising University. He serves on the Nonprofit Advisory Board of Nova Southeastern University’s School of Business, and he has served on the Faith Leaders Council for three presidential administrations.
This role will bring Michael and his family back to a community with which they have strong ties. “My family is fortunate to have two homes, the world Jewish community and Philadelphia,” he said. “Our careers have often taken us away from the deep roots of our family. These experiences have been amazing, but it is an honor to return and fully weave ourselves into the fabric of a community that has given us so much.”
He is married to Lynne Zeiger Balaban, a Philadelphia native, who is also a Jewish communal professional. They have three children, Jacob, Naomi and Shayna. In his off hours, Michael and his son are volunteer firefighters.
“Our mission together must be to dream of a stronger Jewish community and take the risks to make that dream a reality…just as we did at Sinai,” Michael said. “It is my honor to join the distinguished leadership of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia in pursuit of this vision.”