Introducing next Jewish Federation President/CEO David Cohen

The Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg is excited to announce the hire of David Cohen as its next President/CEO.

Currently of Boston, MA, David brings more than twenty-five years of leadership experience across the Jewish communal world and a deep understanding of the priorities and challenges facing Jewish communities today. He has spent time across the country and internationally in helping Federations, JCCs, synagogues, summer camps, Jewish day schools, and other Jewish organizations to succeed.

“We’re grateful to be bringing David on board – he’s someone with all the skills and expertise that you would want in a Federation leader, and who’s also an incredibly down-to-earth, haimish¸ warm person who fits in with the culture and sensibility of our Harrisburg Jewish community,” says Abby Smith, Federation Board Chair. “For him, it goes beyond working within the Jewish community, but also being a Jewish ambassador and leader within the community at-large.”

David is looking forward to joining the Harrisburg community and leading the Federation, JCC, and partner agencies in engaging with key matters in the community, including the transition to the Alexander Grass Campus for Jewish Life, which is slated to open later this year.

I am excited to meet with even more community leaders and a wide spectrum of community members to hear what they’d like the future of Harrisburg to look like,” David says. “The Jewish Federation is already a great convener of different segments of the community and there are amazing people in leadership of the Jewish community - to take that to the next level is the goal, with even more support for learning, community, and connectivity.”

David’s hire follows a year-long national CEO search that saw top talent in the Jewish communal world apply to become our community’s next leader. He will join the Federation in this important role in mid-August. The Federation wishes to thank Arnie Sohinki, who has led the organization in an interim role since summer of 2022. Arnie joins the Federation’s board of directors, staff, and search committee in welcoming David to the organization.

“David is highly skilled in management and strategic planning, donor cultivation, advocacy and outreach, and programming,” Arnie says. “He is more than qualified for the role, and his arrival in Harrisburg will continue to move the Federation, JCC, and the development and growth of the Grass Campus and the community in an exciting direction.”

In addition to his recent work with the Jewish Community Relations Council in Boston, MA and as JCRC Director in Richmond, VA, David has served as an administrator with the Shlenker School of Congregation Beth Israel in Houston, TX and as the Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Sinai Congregation in Toronto, ON. He previously worked in the Federation system as the Director of Israel Advocacy for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and was the Associate Director of the Anti-Defamation League in Boston. He was also the Regional Youth Director at the JCCs of Greater Boston in Newton, MA.

David’s long-term commitment to Jewish communal work shows up beyond his resume,” Abby says. “It’s also in how he leads his life and his commitment to living out Jewish values and communal priorities.”


The Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg is excited to welcome David Cohen as our next President/CEO. More details on David's Federation contact info and start date coming soon. Read more about David in the June 30th edition of Community Review.