Working for the Anti-Defamation League was a no-brainer, says the organization’s new director of development, Erica Greenblatt, because it bridges her two identities as a social justice advocate and Jewish leader.
Greenblatt’s passions led her to pursue a career in the Jewish nonprofit world and landed her a job with March of the Living. After obtaining her degree in nonprofit management from New York University, Greenblatt began her career with the ADL. The new transplant from New York says she has no regrets about moving to the South.
She answered the AJT’s Four Questions.
AJT: How do you hope to expand the ADL’s mission in Georgia?
Greenblatt: As a global anti-hate organization, ADL’s mission to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all” has never been more important. Particularly here in Georgia, as there has been a tremendous increase in anti-Semitic incidents over the last three years.
ADL is already doing such important work in the community that many locals may not realize, such as our No Place for Hate program to combat bullying and bias is in every Atlanta public school. As the founding member of Hate-Free Georgia, we also have been leading the way to pass hate-crime legislation and have been working closely with law enforcement to provide information on local extremists and hate groups.
My hope is to corral businesses, community leaders and individuals committed to our mission. I want to expand our corporate sponsorships, create exciting and engaging community events, and build strong relationships with local philanthropists and activists.
AJT: What are some skills you are bringing with you?
Greenblatt: I would have to say passion for our work, boundless energy, creativity and charisma.
I am coming from ADL’s largest region, working at a very fast pace with high expectations and in a demanding atmosphere. Moving into a bit of a slower culture is actually quite refreshing and allows me time to sit back and strategize.
Moreover, I have the honor of being a member of the second fellowship cohort at the Ruskay Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership. Over this past year I’ve had the opportunity to learn critical leadership skills like adaptive leadership and design thinking, building one’s vision, and the importance of giving and getting feedback.
And lastly, I am a true extrovert. I just love going out and meeting new people and have been making my way about town. To effectively do our work, it is critical for a development professional to get out there and meet those supporting the organization, as well as meet others who haven’t yet but hopefully will soon.
AJT: What are some challenges you are facing?
Greenblatt: We do a lot of local programs and advocacy work, but unfortunately not many people are aware of what we are doing on the ground. I find that people here don’t fully understand the breadth of our work. My challenge is to be able to really get the word out there. Additionally, challenging people’s preconceived notions of ADL and its policies may pose an obstacle.
AJT: What are you most looking forward to in your new position?
Greenblatt: I get to be innovative. I get to create a new fundraising and events strategy while having the support and guidance of my brilliant colleagues and their influential leadership. I have had a blast getting to know our board members, community members and other Jewish communal leaders and look forward to meeting many, many more.