Karen Elam

Karen Elam served as the founding Executive Director of the Levine Center to End Hate at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester—an initiative established in response to the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville—from 2018 to 2023. She held the position of Director of Community Relations from 2016 – 2018. During her tenure, the Levine Center reached over 4,000 adults and youth through education and dialogue programs addressing racism, antisemitism, transphobia, and other forms of hate, and it continues to grow and serve the Greater Rochester community.

Karen has extensive experience in development and communications with organizations including Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps, as well as homeless and LGBTQ+ health care initiatives serving the New York City and Rochester communities. She began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer and subsequently worked as a cross-cultural trainer in Honduras, Central America. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree in International Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Karen’s greatest pride has been partnering with her husband to see their triplets blossom into wonderful young adults.

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Rabba Rori Picker Neiss

Senior Vice President for Community Relations

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