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Welcoming Amy Shapiro-Kessler, RUACH’s New Director of Development

“I’m thrilled to be joining RUACH because I believe so deeply in its mission as a means to CONNECT – to ourselves, to each other and to Torah.”

RUACH is thrilled to announce that Amy Shapiro-Kessler, LMSW, has joined our growing team as Director of Development.

Amy brings over two decades of experience in nonprofit development and leadership to this role, in addition to her own daily mindfulness practice. She started working last week, and has already hit the ground running, preparing a two-year strategic map to guide RUACH’s growth from nonprofit startup towards sustainable Jewish institution creating movement and meditation studios rooted in Torah.

Closing out her first week with RUACH, Amy shared a bit about herself, her background, and her vision for the Jewish future:

Q: What excites you about joining RUACH?

I’m thrilled to be joining RUACH because I believe so deeply in its mission as a means to CONNECT – to ourselves, to each other and to Torah, through conversations around our sacred texts, movement, and meditation. RUACH is building a community of exploration, reflection and joy, in a world that I think sorely needs it!

Q: How has mindfulness practice served your health/Judaism/life?

Mindfulness has been a central grounding feature of my life for about 20 years now. I officially came to yoga, and then meditation, when a college physical education requirement led me to the mat. That first teacher was instrumental in my awakening to the breadth of benefits borne from mindfulness practice. As a core part of my identity, Judaism is central to my practice; my spirituality and mindfulness practice are entwined. I think both have made me more present as a parent, in all my relationships, and in my work.

Q: What is your vision for the Jewish future?

My vision of the Jewish future is one in which all people can find their unique place in community, through radical acceptance across backgrounds, beliefs, and intersectional identities. I believe resilience, JOY and MAGIC (miracles!) are central features of Judaism. My vision of the Jewish future is one based in tradition and text, while ever-evolving and allowing for a diverse multitude of expressions and spaces – in synagogues, in nature, in homes, in community-based organizations like RUACH, and wherever seekers are led.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself and/or joining the team?

I appreciate this opportunity tremendously and I’m thrilled to be part of an organization I am so passionate about. I’m excited to get to know everyone in the RUACH community; please reach out to me at or schedule a time for us to chat here.

In addition to her role as RUACH’s Director of Development, Amy is currently the Executive Director of Ansche Chesed, a joyous synagogue community in NYC dedicated to building the world through deeds of kindness. As the RUACH team got to know Amy through the Director of Development search process, it was clear she is a superwoman devoted to building a better world for us all.

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