The Jewish National Fund’s Maryland board officially has a new president in Pikesville native Nanci Seff, a position that was previously held by Orly Shalem.
Seff assumed the role on Oct. 1, 2019, and her installation ceremony was Feb. 4.
Shalem was the first Israeli-American to be elected as the president of a JNF regional board, according to a JNF press release, which said that Shalem’s “accomplishments and contributions increased awareness of JNF-USA in the Greater Baltimore area and Maryland.”
“Because Orly grew up in Be’er Sheva, her love and compassion for developing Israel was something she was able to convey in a very authentic way through the work of JNF,” said Diane Scar, JNF’s national campaign director.
Shalem stepped down from the position when she reached the end of her three-year term, and she has continued to serve on the board and remain involved with the organization, Scar said.
Seff, a member of Beth El Congregation, has been involved in the Maryland JNF community for the past 10 years.
Scar highlighted Seff’s involvement in the “Special in Uniform” program, which integrates youth with disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces. The program provides them with career assistance and career placement assistance during their transition to civilian life.
Scar said that Seff will lead the board in fundraising. Seff will also work to encourage people from the Baltimore area to travel to Israel to see for themselves how JNF has been “transforming the land and creating greater dialogue and connection between our partners in the U.S. and our affiliates in Israel,” Scar said.
“I am proud to prioritize Jewish National Fund because it embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit,” Seff said in a press release. “We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is our voice in Israel and it is our time and money that makes these visions come to life.”