Kira Blumer joined Tzedek as CEO towards the start of 2020. Kira has spent her career developing student leaders, both in frontline youth roles and as senior management. She has held many lay positions on committees throughout Canada and the UK, advising on issues involving youth, community relations, and interfaith engagement.
We asked Kira a few questions to get to know her a little better:
You’ve worked within the Jewish community in a number of roles. Where were you before you joined Tzedek and what drew you to the charity?
I had been working as the Executive Director of BBYO UK & Ireland since moving to the UK from Canada in 2017. I’ve been working in the Jewish youth informal education sector throughout my career. When I found out I was moving to the UK, one of the things I was most excited about was the opportunity to explore the British charity sector, and specifically to learn about International Development.
Tzedek has a dual mission that is both outward-facing in its dedication to sustainable International Development, and inward-facing in respect to engaging the Jewish community in our own social responsibility. This role was the perfect blend of my professional experience and personal aspirations. It’s so rare to find a job where you can benefit the organisation with your experience, while simultaneously learning and growing in new ways.
What drives your passion for this role?
I really enjoy driving a mission and empowering people to do their best work. I like creating company culture and – you know – an organisation is only made of its best people. I love working with all the stakeholders to create something meaningful.
I’m really mission-driven. It’s important to me to work in a setting that reflects my values as a leader and I have found a good home here for myself in that way.
One of the things I’ve most been looking forward to is getting to meet our partners and learn from them directly. There’s an impressive network of experts across the field investing in their own communities.
How has your background influenced you as a female Jewish leader?
I’m from a small Jewish community with a can-do attitude towards leadership and community building. I’ve always felt an enormous sense of responsibility as a Jewish woman, both as an ambassador for the community and as a role model for Jewish youth. I see leadership positions as an opportunity to show the next generation what leadership can look like, and I take that responsibility very seriously.
You’ve joined Tzedek with experience in the social impact sector. How have you found the transition to working specifically within International Development?
I only applied for this position after doing a lot of careful research. I’d been watching this sector from a distance for a long time before deciding to make the transition. Tzedek’s sustainable approach to International Development was one of the primary reasons I came on board at this moment.
On the development front, I’m learning a lot from my staff who are teaching me the fundamentals of Tzedek’s approach, which are impressive in terms of ethics and process. I’ve also learned a lot from our trustees whose professional experience in this field comes with invaluable insight and feedback. A lot of our alumni, former employees and previous trustees have graciously given me their time and expertise. I’ve been so blown away by the generosity of the Tzedek community.