Cherry Hill resident Raechel Hammer has been named the new Executive Director of Samost Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS), announced Board President Stacy Asbell Levin. Hammer most recently served as the Chief Development Officer at the Library Company of Philadelphia, where she focused on increasing revenue, building a strong and engaged membership base, managing board governance, and implementing a strategic vision for the institution. Throughout her time there, she created a culture of philanthropy and raised more than $12 million, including $3.3 million in endowment funds.
“During the five-month national search process, it became clear that Raechel was the ideal candidate to lead JFCS. Beyond her proven track record of excellence in fundraising, operations, and management, she is an inspiring and mission-focused professional with boundless energy to make a positive community impact,” said Asbell Levin.
Hammer’s passion for Jewish communal service was sparked by her first trip to Israel as a young adult. As a Master of Social Work candidate, she served as a foster care social work intern at JFCS of Philadelphia, supporting children in need. This first learning experience taught her about the opportunities and challenges of caring for those cannot care for or advocate for themselves. Upon completing graduate school, her first job was with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, where she worked on behalf of refugees from the Former Soviet Union and partnered with JFCS, HIAS, and JEVS. While there she also worked with low-income children and represented Jewish Federation in the Russian community. Hammer’s next stop was at Klein JCC (now KleinLife), where she stretched her operational muscles to manage a team of 40 staff and 500 volunteers at three different sites, managing a budget of $3.2 million.
Hammer’s professional experiences have given her a deep appreciation of the important work that agencies like JFCS and Jewish Federations accomplish. Her personal experiences as the daughter of a Holocaust Survivor and the mother of a child with special needs have informed her professional perspective.
“To say I am excited to join JFCS would be an understatement,” said Hammer. “Since embarking upon my career more than 25 years ago, it has been my dream to manage and maintain an agency that transforms and changes people’s lives like JFCS does. This truly feels like a homecoming to me.” Hammer resides with her husband, Michael, her sons Joshua and David, and the family’s two dogs.