Three New Management-Level Professionals Added to Staff

JCC Association is pleased to announce three management-level additions to its full-time staff. Susan Bender is taking over the financial resource development portfolio as senior vice-president. Alison Pepper has joined the agency as assistant vice-president on the early childhood education and family engagement team. Jerry Wische will assume the role of JCC Association’s chief operating officer and director of the Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership and Management, transitioning to a full time basis as of October 11, 2012.

Susan Bender is returning to the nonprofit world after five years as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch and Bernstein Global Wealth Management. She had previously been the senior principal gifts officer at Yeshiva University and a fundraising executive at the Manhattan School of Music, Jewish Theological Seminary, and the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Bender earned a B.A. in the history of art at the University of Pennsylvania and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and Sarah Lawrence College in Florence.

Alison Pepper has most recently been the senior director of the professional development solutions and accreditation program support department in the national office of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in Washington D.C. Prior to her work at NAEYC, Pepper was the director of Quality New York, a project that guided 160 programs in New York City to achieve NAEYC accreditation. Pepper has her master’s in early childhood supervision and administration from Bank Street College of Education and was in the early childhood teaching program at David Yellin Teacher’s College in Jerusalem, Israel.

Jerry Wische served with distinction as the director of the Houston JCC for over thirty years and has been a mentor and teacher to many JCC professionals and lay leaders. Before moving to Houston, he held several different positions at the JCC of Pittsburgh. Since November 2011, he served as senior vice-president of financial resource development (FRD) at JCC Association and began leading the Mandel Center in May. With Bender’s arrival, he will add the COO responsibilities. Wische earned both a B.A. and M.S.W. at the University of Pittsburgh and was the 2004 recipient of the Florence G. Heller Distinguished Professional Service to the JCC Field Award.

“We are excited to have three such highly qualified people join our team,” said Allan Finkelstein, president and CEO of JCC Association. “We feel confident that they will help us continue to provide the very best consultation and programming services to Jewish Community Centers, which will make the North American Jewish community even stronger and more vibrant.”

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