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Hilary Cohen Singer, 39

Hilary is a Kansas City native who has brought her compassion, education and drive for non-profit work to the Jewish community.

She is the only executive director under the age of 40 of a Jewish agency in Kansas City. She strives to educate the community on the economic value and cultural and personal enrichment that comes from including all kinds of diversity in our workforce, and in our communities. Her personal mission is to help people focus on their capabilities, not their limitations. The Jewish belief that every human being is made in the image of God informs and invigorates her work helping people realize their full potential.

 In less than two years as Executive Director, Hilary has led a substantial improvement in the operations and financial performance of this 65 year old agency, and expanded services to better meet the needs of clients. She is currently managing the move of the organization to new headquarters. She is a board member of Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates, working toward public and legislative support for refugee resettlement.

Before joining JVS, Singer was a planning executive at UJA-Federation of New York, working to advance community-building efforts in the Russian Jewish Community, both in the U.S. and abroad. Singer served as assistant director of the New York Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. At AJC, Singer developed programs and advocacy initiatives on shared public policy concerns between the Jewish community and other ethnic and religious groups. Singer also served as a regional director of Women Presidents Organization, supporting the development of women’s entrepreneurship.

Profession: Executive Director at Jewish Vocational Service

Describe your work: I work to make sure that all people, regardless of the barriers that might be standing in their way, have the support they need to find employment and be productive members of our community, and that our community institutions and places of work are well-prepared to meet the needs of all the different kinds of people that might walk through their doors.

Kansas City needs: A great Jewish deli. And also, better public transportation throughout the metro to connect communities to each other and to work. It is a huge barrier to employment that the people who need work can't physically get to available jobs without a car.
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