Jerry Isaak-Shapiro Named Executive Director of American Friends of Kidum

Jerry Isaak-Shapiro, new AFK Executive Director

Jerry Isaak-Shapiro, a renowned teacher, educational leader and Jewish scholar, has been named Executive Director of the American Friends of Kidum (AFK). AFK, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is dedicated to building awareness and financial support for the Society for Advancement of Education, Jerusalem (SAE).

“Jerry brings a unique understanding and appreciation of secondary education, deep roots in the American Jewish community and a proven passion for Israel to the American Friends of Kidum,” said Yair Segev, Vice-Chair of the AFK Board of Directors.  “We look forward to working with Jerry to broaden our base of donors and increase the support we can provide for SAE’s schools, residences and educational programs throughout Israel.”

Most recently Jerry was Head of School at the highly regarded Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School in Cleveland, OH, for the past 17 years. During his tenure at Mandel Jerry significantly increased enrollment, more than tripled annual campaign support, strengthened the teaching staff and introduced an integrative educational approach that encourages students to study questions in different ways.

Earlier in his career Jerry served as Jewish Education Director at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, as Northern California Regional Director for Hillel, and as Associate Director for the Jewish Community Relations Committee for the Greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Jerry has been a teacher, prominent lecturer and scholar-in-residence for over twenty years, specializing in the areas of non-formal education, learning differentiation, Zionist thought and history and Jewish identity. He was one of five national mentor/master teachers in SuLaM, a program of Study, Leadership and Mentoring for current Heads of School, sponsored by RAVSAK (the national community day school organization) and has served as a mentor in the Jewish Theological Seminary-sponsored Day School Leadership Training Institute.

“I am very excited to have this unique opportunity to combine my experience developing Jewish communities in the U.S. with my lifelong love of Israel,” Jerry said. “I look forward to generating awareness and support in the U.S. for SAE’s vital mission of creating a more pluralistic and prosperous Israel by giving talented teens a chance to realize their full academic potential.  Quality education not only impacts the individual; it’s the key to transforming society itself.”

Jerry earned a BA in Political Science from California State University-Northridge and a MA in International Affairs, specializing in Mideast History, from The George Washington University.  He is a 2003 graduate of the prestigious Mandel Jerusalem Fellowship program.

“We are proud,” said SAE Executive Director Eitan Moran, “that an educational leader has chosen to join us and help us broaden our activities, partners and resources in the United States.”

Jerry can be reached at and 216-308-0697.

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