Karen Sallerson is a native of Minnesota and has worked for non-profits around the country for 30 years. After graduating from the University of Minnesota and traveling to Israel, she began working at Jewish Vocational Service as a job developer for Russian immigrants in Minneapolis. Her fundraising career began at the Jewish United Fund in Chicago, and she has continued to partner with volunteers to secure funds for Israel Bonds, Israel Tennis Centers, City of Hope and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. She has been in her current position since September 2007.
ImpactIsrael allows Karen to mesh her fundraising expertise with her personal experience being a parent of a special needs child who was placed in residential care. She is keenly aware that “It takes a village to raise a child”. Karen is inspired by the devoted staff in Israel and the passion of the ImpactIsrael Board of Directors. There are many references in the Talmud related to tzedakah (charity) but Karen’s favorite is “One who makes others give is greater than one who gives himself”. Her goal is to introduce more people to the spirit of Yemin Orde and provide them with the satisfaction that comes from helping fragile children realize their dreams.
“To me, Karen’s bond with Yemin Orde and all it stands for is in the realm of the predestined. On an emotional level, Karen regards every child whose life is touched by Yemin Orde as her own. In the same token, she views each and every supporter as an intimate partner in this extended parenthood.
Unquestionably, Karen is a rare combination of selfless leadership. Her professionalism and untiring attention to detail, include each every one of us that crosses her path. Her enthusiasm, warmth and persistence are one of our major assets – if not the dynamo of our entire endeavor.” – Chaim Peri
Robert L. Gurmankin
Director, Major Gifts
Robert L. Gurmankin joins ImpactIsrael as Director of Major Gifts following five and half successful years as Development Vice President at The Arnold P. Gold Foundation for Humanism in Medicine.
His development expertise includes serving in senior executive and consulting positions in fundraising, strategic planning, organizational development at some of North America’s largest Jewish communal organizations. These include: UJA-Federation of New York, Birthright Israel International, the National Museum of American Jewish History, B’nai B’rith International, The Abraham Joshua Heschel School, The Dalton School and the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.
Working with the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, he has consulted with the Bohrer Kaufman Hebrew Academy of Morris County, NJ; Kellman Brown Academy, Cherry Hill, NJ; Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy of Philadelphia; Hannah Senesh Community Day School of Brooklyn; and the Carmel Academy, Greenwich, CT.
“The well-being and viability of a community will follow directly from the successful course on which it diligently sets every one of its members, with special attention paid to its children and adolescents most at risk. In ImpactIsrael, I join a historically effective pathfinder helping to fortify Israel’s future and the health of the Jewish people.”
Development Director, West Coast
Lianne Goldsmith is an experienced nonprofit professional in the child welfare and family and foster care areas. She served as Program Director and Development Director for the Southern California Foster Family and Adoption Agency, responsible for a broad array of management and fundraising strategies. In addition, she served as Founder and Managing Director of The Possibility Project, Los Angeles (formerly City at Peace), a nonprofit organization that uses performing arts to empower and build confidence in at-risk teens.
“I am excited to be a part of this forward-thinking organization that listens to and honors the voice of its youth and serves to support them from their teens to adulthood,” Goldsmith said. “Helping to educate and strengthen Israel’s next generation of leaders – its children – is one of the most important ways we can ensure a strong and ever-lasting Israel.”
Goldsmith grew up in Zimbabwe, Africa. Her family’s connection to Israel runs deep as her father was a founder of Kibbutz Tzorah in Beit Shemesh, where Goldsmith spent time volunteering as a youth.
Director, Administration and Finance
Leslie Kline joined ImpactIsrael in 2003 as a way to further her commitment to Israel. As Director of Administration and Finance, she brings over 20 years of experience in systems and database design, and financial reporting. Her responsibilities include assisting with financial reporting to donors and the ImpactIsrael Board, and coordinating with the staff at Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel. As a high school student, Leslie spent six months in Israel studying Hebrew at an Ulpan with immigrants from all over the world. She has since returned to Israel many times and, with each trip, became more aware of the unique needs and challenges of the immigrant population.
“Since I joined ImpactIsrael in 2003, I have been overwhelmed by the out pouring of commitment and support from our donor community worldwide. Through this amazing generosity, Yemin Orde has been able to spread its reach to help more children throughout Israel. I am privileged to be part of Yemin Orde.”
Director, Marketing and Communications
Barbara Sherbill joined ImpactIsrael in December 2010 to direct marketing and communications efforts following the devastating wildfire that tore through the Village. Her communications management experience in the Jewish nonprofit industry includes public and media relations, website and content management, branding, email marketing, social media and creative campaign strategies.
Barbara is an avid cyclist and hopes one day for the opportunity to ride through Israel’s diverse and beautiful terrain.
DataBase and Administration
Gerry joined ImpactIsrael in June 2018. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Gerry has over 20 years of experience working with nonprofits in various capacities. He specializes in donor research, database design and management which has allowed him to work in a variety of unique organizations including United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Capital Camps and Retreat Center and Active Minds, among others.
Gerry enjoys spending time with his family, working on jigsaw puzzles, and cheering on his favorite hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens.