Jenna Shulman, executive director, Jewish Educational Loan Fund
JELF provides interest-free loans to Jewish college students in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
Since 1961, JELF has granted over $9 million to 3,700 students, with a 99 percent repayment rate. The money that comes back in then goes out as new loans.
In her relatively short time as executive director, Shulman has introduced a new marketing campaign, JELFie, using images and quotes from loan recipients to display JELF’s accomplishments. Shulman also has devised tools to increase student applications and to make JELF more accessible to donors.
She redesigned JELF’s annual report to make the mission of the organization clearer, and she developed the JELF journey map to help loan recipients understand their future and payback options.
Shulman has brought many new board members to JELF, in addition to many new volunteers and donors, in an effort to ensure educational opportunities for the Jewish community in a period of soaring higher-education expenses.
“JELF is a recycling program,” Shulman said. “Your money is helping one student today, but many, many, many students over time, and I think that’s pretty innovative.”