Jessica Silver has been appointed Chief of Staff and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, effective January 24, 2022.
President Andrew Rehfeld stated, “Jessica Silver’s experience building relationships with diverse networks of stakeholders and driving strategic projects to success in municipal government is an exceptional match for the needs of the College-Institute. With her professionalism, compassion, and deep committed to our work, she brings welcome experience and a successful track record to support critical projects at a moment of opportunity for the College-Institute.”
Working in close partnership with the President, Silver will work on a variety of critical projects to create an HUC-JIR for the 21st century, including driving the strategic planning process, strengthening the sacred and respectful culture at HUC-JIR, and developing stronger internal operating processes and procedures. She will supervise all Presidential Office operations and activities and will be actively engaged in building relationships with the President’s cabinet, senior leaders, and other internal constituents; Board of Governors; alumni; donors; external stakeholders in the Reform Jewish community; and civic, social, business, and community organizations.
Silver comes to HUC-JIR after serving for fifteen years in senior positions in New York City government, most recently as Assistant Comptroller for Public Affairs and Chief of Strategic Operations in the New York City Comptroller’s Office, where she was an Executive Member of Comptroller Scott Stringer’s administration responsible for leading the Public Affairs Bureau, supporting agency-wide management, and implementing special projects throughout the agency. Previously, she served as Director of Strategic Operations in the New York City Comptroller’s Office, acting as strategic advisor and chief project manager to the First Deputy Comptroller, helping to coordinate the agency’s 15 bureaus and 800 employees. Prior to these appointments, she served the Manhattan Borough President’s Office in a variety of increasingly responsible positions. Before entering government, she served as Technical Assistance Advisor at the International Rescue Committee, providing training in organizational development to 35 refugee-led community-based organizations around the United States.
Silver received her B.A. in History at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, studied at Tel Aviv University during her sophomore year, and received her Master of Social Work from Hunter College, with a concentration in Community Organizing, Planning, and Development. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband and two dogs.
Silver fills the role most recently held by Liz Squadron and open since June, and takes the helm from Interim Chief of Staff, Livia Thompson, who for the past four months has led the President’s Office with experience, professionalism, and a deep understanding of the Reform Movement that has provided needed support during a critical time of change.