Head of Jewish Volunteering Network to step down after 10 years at the helm

Head of Jewish Volunteering Network to step down after 10 years at the helm

Leonie Lewis to stand down from the community charity after a decade at the helm, in which she transformed it into a national organisation with strong interfaith links

Leonie Lewis, outgoing director of JVN
Leonie Lewis, outgoing director of JVN

Head of the Jewish Volunteering Network Leonie Lewis is stepping down ten years after she helped establish it, leaving fellow community grandee Nicky Goldman to take over.

Goldman has made a name for herself by developing a first-rate leadership development programme at Lead, a division of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), and will assume her role as JVN chief executive in 2019.

JVN trustee David Lazarus commended Lewis’s “excellent commitment and drive in running the charity,” adding: “Leonie has done a fantastic job of taking JVN from its inception through to its current strong and sustainable position. She has prepared us brilliantly for the next stage of our journey and we are indebted to her.”

Under her steerage, the JVN fostered a pioneering interfaith relationship with Christian groups after the latter approached Lewis with a view to setting up something similar to JVN for local churches. The model is now being replicated by Muslim groups.

Lewis has also introduced a volunteers’ hall of fame and initiated a series of breakfasts in which audiences here from high-profile names such as Luciana Berger.

Goldman’s background seems an obvious next fit for JVN which, aside from its core function of matching volunteers to volunteering opportunities, also helps foster good practice in volunteer management within other charities.

In addition, JVN uses Lead resources on issues surrounding Jewish charity trusteeship and governance, so Goldman already has strong links to the network.

“I’m delighted to be joining,” said Goldman. “JVN is perfectly positioned to move to the next level of its vision and engage more volunteers with skills and experiences, which would be of great value to communal life. I relish the challenge.”

JLC chief executive Simon Johnson said Goldman “has been at the centre of the community’s leadership development for nearly 20 years,” adding: “She has been synonymous with Lead since its creation. Hundreds of leaders, both lay and professional, have benefited from her wisdom, experience and inspiration.”

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