Celia Lerch Senior Director, Finance and Operations

Celia was born and raised on the Gulf Coast in Mobile, Alabama where her love of Judaism and passion for social justice work were stoked from a young age. She attended Rhodes College in Memphis where she received a BA in English and Religious Studies and will complete her MS in Nonprofit Management from Johnson & Wales University in the summer of 2021.

Celia has enjoyed a 15-year professional career in nonprofit administration bolstered by her work in the Jewish communal sector. Beginning her journey in Memphis at Temple Israel, she worked as a religious school teacher and Rosh Hodesh program leader throughout college and later as the Youth and Family Life Director.  Following that, Celia changed gears and worked as a regional outreach director to help provide ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapy to children with autism, specifically children of military parents.  Celia returned to her roots in Jewish communal work at Congregation Micah in Nashville in 2015, where she served as communications director and then executive director.

One of Celia’s proudest moments was being selected as the Youth Worker of the Month for the Union of Reform Judaism in Aug. 2008 and being awarded a Belin Outreach and Membership Award in 2009 for her work in membership engagement at Temple Israel.
Celia is thrilled to continue her career as Sr Director of Finance and Operations at Challah for Hunger, working with a team of inspiring professionals and volunteers to advocate, build community, and raise awareness.

In her free time, Celia enjoys volunteering for HOBY (Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership), traveling the world, cooking, and spending time with her husband Aaron and their children, Archer and Shoshana.