Welcome to our New Jewish Federation Executive Director, Jarad Bernstein


May 2023

Featured Post


We have the pleasure of sharing with you the exciting news that the Federation Board of Governors has voted to approve Jarad Bernstein as the next Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines! Jarad will begin his tenure on May 15.

The search committee executed a national search, yet found the person best positioned to lead the Jewish Federation forward was right in front of us the entire time. Many of you may be familiar with Jarad, who is an accomplished and dedicated community leader and has lived in Des Moines since 2006. He has been actively engaged across our Jewish community including on our own Board for more than 12 years, previously on the Board of Tifereth Israel Synagogue, and as a volunteer for Drake Hillel. Most recently, Jarad has been Drake University’s Director of Communications since 2011.

With his vision and experience, Jarad is well equipped to further expand our community impact. We look forward to him advancing key Federation initiatives around leadership development, community relations, and fundraising.

Jarad holds a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Santa Barbara and an MBA from Drake University. He is married to Lilianna Bernstein and together they are the parents of 1-year-old Flora, an aspiring Gan Shalom and Beit Sefer Shalom student. Outside of Caspe Terrace, you may find Jarad in his kitchen trying out a recipe from either Cooks Illustrated or the hottest new kosher cookbook, at the library with Flora checking out all toddler books about ducks, or tuning in to an Oakland A’s game.

Jarad shared the following: “The Federation’s mission to enrich Jewish living through connection, education, and compassion is brought to life each day by a wonderful staff, caring board members, and generous volunteers and donors. I am excited to have the opportunity to lead an organization whose collective work brings people together, helps those in need, tells the world our story, and provides an enduring and meaningful education to our children. Together we will build a community that we are proud to call home and one where we are always, without question, proud to be Jewish.”

We want to extend sincere thanks to the search committee for their dedication and engagement during this process. The committee, made up of 15 people, represented a broad range of demographics, underscoring our community’s collaborative spirit and shared passion for the Federation’s mission.

We know that under Jarad’s leadership—and in collaboration with our dedicated staff, board, and other volunteers—the Federation will strengthen its position as an integral part of Jewish life in Des Moines. In celebration of this moment and to help meet that promise, we invite you to make a meaningful gift to the All-in-One campaign today in honor of our new Executive Director.

Please join us and the Federation and Foundation Boards in welcoming Jarad as the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines!

Hannah Rogers                                                            David Adelman

President, Board of Governors                                    President, Foundation Board

Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines                  Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines

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