Sarah Persitz is extremely passionate about Israel, Judaism and Jewish continuity. She was first able to foster her Jewish identity on a Birthright Israel trip after not growing up in a Jewish home. Upon returning to school, Sarah became involved with Hillel and learned more about Judaism, Israel and what it means to be a part of a Jewish community. As her Jewish identity continued to grow, Sarah decided to return to Israel to study the layers of Jewish identity within Israeli society. Navigating through the politics, history and tense emotions within Israel allowed her to further understand her own mixed identity, ultimately strengthening her sense of Jewish self.
Upon graduating from the University of Washington, Sarah began working for AIPAC, increasing her sense of connection to the country that had given her so much. But her involvement didn't stop there. Over the years, Sarah has remained an active member of whatever community she is living in, creating programs, serving as a connector across social hubs and always seeking to provide opportunities for her peers to engage in ‘doing Jewish.’ In her spare time, Sarah takes classes as part of UC Berkeley’s Executive Leadership Program while trying to squeeze in as many yoga classes and new restaurants as time allows.
As the San Francisco Area Director, Sarah is charged with taking the AIPAC community into the next iteration of pro-Israel political activism. While working in an established Jewish community, Sarah strives to think beyond the traditional boundaries of development and political mobilization. Instead, she thinks creatively to provide innovative programming aimed at engaging the next generation of philanthropists, increasing the number of women in leadership positions within the organization and strengthening ties between the U.S. and Israel by working on a Bay Area Hi-Tech Outreach Initiative.
Responsible for an area of the country experiencing the highest rate of assimilation and intermarriage, Sarah is tasked with the important challenge of empowering those who are at risk for being marginalized in the community. Sarah believes that Israel is an essential part of a strong Jewish identity and she works tirelessly to create a space where people feel welcome regardless of their political, religious or sexual orientations.
Outside of her professional role, Sarah has partnered with the Jewish Community Federation to build a cross-generational women’s group. Her hope is to bring women of all ages together to foster an environment of learning and Jewish growth.
Fields of Interest: Jewish Education and Peoplehood, Visions of Israel