Adam Kessler is the past Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia where he served for over a decade. JCRC is dedicated to improving intergroup understanding and serves as a common table for public policy debate for the Jewish community. Adam began his career in 1986 in Baltimore at the JCRC, responsible for Israel advocacy and international relations. He was promoted to Associate Director in 1990 and served as Acting Director on two occasions.
In 1993, Adam left community relations and became the Assistant Campaign Director of the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore where he also managed their Israel and overseas portfolio. In January of 1998, he moved to Philadelphia becoming the Director of the Bux-Mont Regional office, part of the Philadelphia Jewish Federation system. In 2002, Adam was promoted to Director of Suburban Regions and then soon after, Director of the Center for Jewish Life and Learning. He supervised Federation’s suburban regional offices, the synagogue neighborhood consortia and funding for Jewish education and outreach programming in Philadelphia. In 2006, Adam left the Federation to join a private fundraising consulting group. He assumed his role as director of the JCRC in Philadelphia in November 2008 leaving in April of 2018.
Adam is currently working with local Christian and Jewish leaders by building support for peace building programs that serve Palestinians and Israelis. Adam serves on the boards of Zones of Peace, a region-wide interfaith movement which addresses the root causes of violence in our community; CeaseFirePA a statewide organization advocating and educating to find common sense solutions to gun violence; the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations at Saint Joseph’s University which seeks to increase and deepen understanding between the two communities; and the Carole Landis Foundation, a philanthropic, non-profit which provides financial support to social justice causes and organizations in the Philadelphia region. Adam is active on the board of Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania whose mission is to support Democrats in Pennsylvania who best reflect Jewish values. Most recently, he joined the board of Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia which provides social services to those in need. He is a member of Congregation Beth Or in Maple Glen and has served on their board and as chair of the annual appeal for the congregation. Adam enjoys sailing, skiing, tennis, biking and music as his favorite past times. Adam’s wife Lisa is consulting in commercial real estate with an expertise in shopping center development. They have two grown children.