Our Vision

The Kaplan Leadership Initiative was founded to enable current and future Jewish leaders to think outside the box as they revitalize and empower their Jewish communities. We work specifically with leaders in three vital regions of the world: the Former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and Latin America, where Jewish communities are experiencing a renaissance.

We want to capitalize on this innovation by equipping leaders in those communities with the skills, knowledge and support they’ll need to strengthen their communities—and we do it by creating a global network of talented Jewish professionals.

About JDC

The JDC (Joint Distribution Committee) is the largest Jewish humanitarian organization in the world. JDC is a non-political, non-profit organization that was established over a century ago to help Jews and Jewish communities across the globe, especially in times of emergency or crisis. JDC works with local partners to strengthen developing or recovering Jewish communities, invigorating new generations of Jews while preserving Jewish life and tradition.

JDC was founded in 1914 to help Jews in the future state of Israel and in Eastern Europe during the First World War. It evolved to assist the Jews living under the British Mandate and through the establishment of Israel. Today, JDC works both in Israel and in Jewish communities all over the world.

Edward & Carol Kaplan

For years, Ed & Carol Kaplan have been at the forefront of Jewish communal innovation and philanthropy. As the cofounder of Zebra Technologies Corporation, Ed led with passion and creativity—helping his business grow into a globally renowned technology company. Carol serves as a JDC board member and the President of the Kaplan Foundation and dedicates her time to help others.

From their home in Chicago, the Kaplans have supported the work of JDC and other organizations to strengthen and develop Jewish communities all over the world.

Together, they launched the Kaplan Leadership Initiative in 2017 to ensure and reinforce the growth of Jewish professional leadership in the FSU, Europe and Latin America.

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