Elizabeth Fine

Ronit Avni


While Elizabeth Fine’s experience in corporate America and involvement in the Jewish community as a professional and lay leader are notable, it was her 1989 bat mitzvah that inspired her work with JDC today. Paired with a young Ukrainian Jewish woman named Zhanna Abramanova who was prohibited by the Soviets from having a bat mitzvah herself, Elizabeth began to intrinsically understand the needs of Jews in that part of the world.

21 years later, Elizabeth boarded a plane to Moscow to help a new generation of Russian Jews reclaim their Jewish identity and learn how to lead Jewish communities that are uniquely their own. While working for JDC in the former Soviet Union, Elizabeth started as a JDC Jewish Service Corps fellow and later worked as the Director of International Relations and Development. Elizabeth worked with the Jewish communities of Moscow and St. Petersburg to redesign leadership development programs that help young Jewish adults create and support Jewish communities that meet their needs. As part of that effort in Moscow, Elizabeth worked to develop Kaet, a JDC program that brought the PresenTense social entrepreneurship model to its first location outside of Israel and the United States.

While working in Moscow, Elizabeth also cultivated donor relations, oversaw missions to Moscow, and worked with governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations.

During her six-year career as a corporate litigator in Chicago, Elizabeth served as a member of the Jewish Federations of North Americas' (JFNA) National Young Leadership Cabinet. Locally, she founded and chaired the Jewish Professional Women’s Forum and the Young Lawyers’ Group, and served on committees at the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

Her professional Jewish life is similarly wide-ranging. Prior to law school at University of Michigan, Elizabeth worked as the assistant director of government relations and state policy for UJA-Federation of New York, and as a legislative assistant in JFNA’s Washington Action Office.

She returned to the U.S., and to Chicago, in August 2012.


Leadership Development Institute (LDI)