15 2023

GJF JDC Briefing - Virtual Lunch & Learn

12:00PM - 1:00PM  

Virtual Event Held Online

Contact Carly Dunno

Join us for a Virtual JDC Briefing
Monday, May 15 at Noon

Featuring a JDC 101 with Anna Allen, Senior Development Officer at JDC and Shira Genish, Director of Field Operations, JDC-Former Soviet Union




As a Senior Development Officer, Anna Allen strives to ensure that JDC has the necessary funds to continue its global lifesaving work. In her resource development role, Anna engages JDC supporters, primarily in New York, South Florida, and the Midwestern United States. In parallel, she directs the organization’s major gifts platform – the Ambassadors Program.

Throughout her career, Anna has gravitated toward organizations who elevate the lives of people at risk. Prior to joining JDC, she served as Director of Development for Youth Renewal Fund (YRF), the American partner organization for Darca Schools, which provide disadvantaged Israeli high schoolers with a first-rate education. She also worked in resource development at OneVoice Movement and JFNA.

Anna is particularly inspired by JDC’s humanitarian endeavors and community building work in the former Soviet Union. “I am a third generation Holocaust survivor, so JDC’s motto of ‘Saving Jewish lives and building Jewish life,’ resonates deeply with me.”

In between work, and caring for her baby son, Anna also finds time for lay leadership roles. She is a co-chair for the major gifts cohort of DLead, a professional development project for Jewish communal professionals. And she is an active alum and fundraising chair of her alma mater, Smith College, where she earned a BA in the Study of Women and Gender, and in Jewish Studies. After some years of living and working in New York City and in Israel, today, she resides in her hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota.


Shira Genish was born in Chernovitz, Ukraine, and has lived in Israel since the age of two, when her deeply Zionistic family made Aliyah, decades before the fall of the Iron Curtain. Following her service in the Israel Defense Forces, she graduated with honors from Tel Aviv University with a degree in economics.

Shira's career at JDC began in 1997, when she served as the Budget Officer of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) Department. As she became exposed to the breadth of JDC's work in the FSU, Shira became increasingly interested in connecting with the people who lived there--of all ages and all walks of life. In 2000, Shira left JDC to work as a business consultant, helping to establish and develop small and medium businesses in different spheres in Israel.

The experience she gained in that role, coupled with her curiosity and passion, led her back to JDC through an offer to serve as a JDC representative in Northeastern Ukraine. In 2004, Shira relocated to Kharkiv, where among her various responsibilities, she worked to build the Jewish Community Center, which revolutionized Jewish life in the city. In addition, she devoted time and energy to improving welfare services for vulnerable Jews, cultivating young leadership and creating programs that bring people into Jewish life.
In 2008, she was promoted to Deputy Director of Field Operations and returned to Israel with her children.
During the 2014 Ukraine crisis, Shira also served as the JDC representative in Kyiv, Central and Western Ukraine, where she was responsible for JDC's emergency response.

As of 2016, she assumed the position of Director of JDC-FSU's Field Operation Division, overseeing JDC operations throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union. In this role, she translates strategy into action, working closely with Heseds and communities in optimizing their service delivery and ultimately helps to advance their communities.