June 12, 2017

Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools Announces Elissa Maier as Inaugural COO

New York— Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools, North America’s leading Jewish day school organization, announces the selection of nonprofit leader Elissa Maier as its inaugural Chief Operating Officer.

Formerly the Vice President, FRD Operations and Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence, at Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), Maier will become the first COO of Prizmah which launched in 2016. Maier brings to the position significant leadership experience in nonprofit management and a passion for Jewish day schools, including having served as President of Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County. Maier’s appointment follows an extensive search and is effective June 12, 2017.   

Prizmah welcomes Elissa Maier as its newest member of the leadership team. “Building on Prizmah’s strong launch year, the addition of Elissa to our team will strengthen our programs and operations, enabling the organization to offer the best support for Jewish day schools across North America. I’m thrilled at the opportunity to work with her,” said Paul Bernstein, Prizmah’s CEO.

Maier will manage the marketing, finance, and operations work groups and will be tasked with building the organization’s culture, an area where she has extensive experience.

"After receiving my Master of Social Work from Yeshiva University, my career has focused on Jewish communal work, and my deepest passion has been supporting Jewish organizations of all sizes across the country," said Maier. "I'm incredibly proud of what I accomplished at JFNA over the past 15 years in service to the Jewish field. I’m thrilled to join Prizmah, and look forward to working with the leadership team, new colleagues and the Prizmah Board in support of day schools." 

During Maier’s 15 years at JFNA, her many accomplishments included the deep relationships she built with both professionals and lay leaders across the field. These relationships have enabled her to consult and provide support to Federations across the country and to be a resource to them in the areas of leadership development, management, succession planning, onboarding, managing change, campaign as well as other topics. Maier also developed Fundraising University - a signature project of JFNA. Through this highly selective program, top talent in the field received a year-long intensive professional development opportunity to increase their effectiveness as fund developers and as senior managers.

"From personal experience, I know that Elissa is a professional's professional. She brings to Prizmah deep expertise in organizational management and in culture-building," said Prizmah Board Chair Kathy Manning.


Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools was founded in 2016 with a mission to transform the North American Jewish day school landscape. Prizmah provides day schools with tools to foster the educational excellence, financial vitality, and community support that will make day school education the first choice for Jewish families. Prizmah is a powerful resource, thought leader, and advocate for the day school field. Along with research, data analysis, communities of practice, convenings and publications, Prizmah offers dozens of programs and services with proven track records of success within the Jewish day school network. Prizmah places an emphasis on the individual needs of schools, be they religious needs and sensitivities, communal needs, demographic needs, school size, or other points-of-distinction. The goal is to meet schools where they are at to help them reach the milestones that are right for them.  Prizmah's vision is of a thriving, passionate, engaged, and committed Jewish community – nurtured by Jewish day schools, for generations to come.