Zachary Schaffer has dedicated his career to empowering people to communicate across differences.
He serves as the Executive Director of the Council of Young Jewish Presidents where he and his team work to forge courageous, inclusive, and multigenerational leadership in the Jewish non-profit sector. He mediates difficult conversations as a trained facilitator with Resetting the Table and he proudly serves as the President of Friends of Roots, a grassroots movement of Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. As a certified trainer with Ta'amod, he provides legally compliant anti-harassment trainings to support nonprofit professionals in creating safe, respectful, and equitable Jewish workplaces.
He is obsessed with exploring new paradigms that help us to engage across divides and better understand, relate to, and inspire one another. Conflict is inevitable and humans are neurologically prone to polarization, yet when we harness it effectively, it is one of our greatest resources. This is why he has spent his career helping others to listen and to be heard.
Before this, he was the Senior Manager of Community Strategy for the Jewish Federations of North America's Israel Action Network initiative. In this role, he helped to equip and mobilize more than one hundred Jewish agencies across the country to more effectively engage in Israel education and advocacy for a two-state solution. He also managed the Interfaith Partners for Peace program, through which he brought nationwide delegations of interfaith clergy to study conflict and reconciliation efforts in the Middle East
He has spoken to thousands of people all around the country on depolarization, Zionism, Jewish Peoplehood, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, peacemaking, advocacy, storytelling, and more. He resides in Brooklyn where he reads too many books and collects vintage watches. He is a strong believer in the Oxford Comma.