Rachel Lappen Named Chief Development Officer of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland

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Seasoned development executive with deep knowledge of Cleveland and Jewish Community

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland today named Rachel Lappen as its new chief development officer, effective March 1. Lappen (41) brings nearly 20 years of integrated development experience in both the Jewish community and the arts to this role at Federation.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rachel to the Federation team,” said J. David Heller, board chair. “Her proven track record as a development professional and leader make her ideally suited for this position.”

Lappen comes to Federation from The Cleveland Orchestra, where she was senior director of development and, for a period of time, served as its interim chief development officer. Among her many duties at the orchestra included managing all aspects of the development function that raises more than $30 million annually. From 2013 to 2017, Lappen was the director of institutional advancement at Gross Schechter Day School in Pepper Pike, Ohio. Prior to that, she was the executive director of Chagrin Arts in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, for two years. She began her career in New York City as the executive assistant to Philip Glass, an internationally recognized composer and pianist. Over the years, she’s also held positions of increasing responsibility with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Children’s Choir.

“I had the pleasure of meeting with numerous, highly qualified individuals through our national search for this position. Rachel’s breadth of experience, combined with her deep knowledge of Cleveland and the Jewish community, made it an easy decision,” said Erika B. Rudin-Luria, president. “I have no doubt that she is the right person to lead the Federation’s development efforts.”

“I am so honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve the Jewish community in this capacity,” said Lappen. “I look forward to working with Federation leadership and the talented professional staff to help ensure we have the resources needed to address the community’s immediate needs, as well as appropriately plan for its future.”

Lappen received her Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary and in Music from Barnard College in 2000 and earned her Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Columbia University in 2005. She and her husband, Dr. Justin Lappen, live in Beachwood, Ohio with their two sons.

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