Takeaways – Life. Lessons. Learned.

Stefanie Tuzman

Stefanie Tuzman is President and CEO of Jewish Nevada (AKA Jewish Federation) and oversees the JCC Jewish Community Center. With her BA in Organizational Communication from Western Michigan University and a few professional journeys along the way, she has dedicated her career to the Jewish nonprofit world. Words to describe Stefanie include passionate, self-aware, tenacious, anxious, social media influencer, connector, fundraiser, CEO, wife, and most of all, Mom. She would describe herself as just a girl, trying to do good in this world.

In 2006, Stefanie was hired as City Director at BBYO (formerly B’nai B’rith Youth Organization Inc), then launched as Director of Young Leadership for the Jewish Federation. Her mission became focused on philanthropy and bringing together the Jewish community. Since finding her calling, she’s never looked back.

When you find your calling to lead

Stefanie talks about an influential moment when she was offered a job outside of the Jewish philanthropy world that actually paid more. Her boss at the time shared a lesson that resonated deeply. It was that anyone can fill the other role she was offered, but only a few people are available to dedicate their professional talent and passion to serving the Jewish community, and she is one of the few. Stefanie declined the other role and would go on to become the youngest Federation CEO nationally at age 35. With no prior experience as CEO, she fought for the job. But she knew she was the perfect person for the role. Every day since, Stefanie shows up and does not waiver from her mission to both connect and build up the Jewish community of Nevada. Even when people still ask in surprise, “You’re the CEO?!”

Leadership in the wake of crisis

After the attack on Israel in October 2023, Stefanie took action and immediately opened an emergency fund through the Jewish Foundation. Providing resources for both Israel and the Jewish community here would be critical. When war broke out, Stefanie focused on assessing and meeting needs, gathering and dispersing funds, and lifting the community up with compassion. She’s done all of this, while processing rising antisemitism and daily attacks on the Jewish community, as both a person and a Jewish professional.

Takeaways From This Episode

  • Hiring an executive coach is a worthwhile investment to level up.
  • People give to people – connecting as a person and sharing our story is a meaningful way to fundraise.
  • Taking care of the world around us aligns with Jewish values and responsibility.
  • Soliciting philanthropy is actually providing the donor with an opportunity to give which ultimately makes them feel great.

Stefanie activates others (including myself) to give back and get involved with their time, their talent, or their treasure.  Watch the full Podcast episode to hear Stefanie share her take on being a CEO and philanthropy.Thank you for listening! Please subscribe to “Takeaways,” rate, and review wherever you get your podcasts.

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