Erik Ludwig Appointed President & CEO of Jewish Federation of Orange County

After an extensive nationwide search, the Board of Jewish Federation of Orange County is delighted to announce the appointment of Erik Ludwig, PhD as the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Erik is a talented, innovative leader with a passion for community who has had a transformational impact on everyEric organization he has served,” said Heather Kline, Chair of Jewish Federation of Orange County. “We are excited to partner with him and have enormous confidence in him to lead our Federation in fulfilling its critical mission to care for the Jewish community and to ensure the stability and growth of Jewish Federation of Orange County.” 

Erik shared, “I am humbled and honored to accept the position as President and CEO to this organization which has served as a foundation for Jewish life in Orange County and beyond since its incorporation as the Jewish Community Council in 1965. While our understanding of the Jewish neighborhood has changed a lot since then, our connection to the past—our shared history of Jewish peoplehood—can be a profound building block for a better future. I look forward to our partnership shaping that Jewish future and working toward a more perfect world.”

Adam Miller, Chair of the search committee, explained, “In seeking our next executive leader, we wanted someone who understood the innovative spirit of our community and the importance of Federation in strengthening Jewish life in Orange County. In Erik, we found a leader whose business acumen and track record of entrepreneurship is the right fit for our community.”

Erik has served as a Jewish communal professional for the past 20 years and brings a wealth of experience, strategic vision, and deep communal relationships to this role. He is recognized as one of the Jewish community’s most innovative and entrepreneurial leaders with a strong record of spearheading organizational change within mature organizations. His strengths were most recently demonstrated during his seven-year tenure as Director of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at Hebrew Union College where he oversaw the school’s revitalization and growth. Among his numerous accomplishments, he tripled student enrollment by redesigning core academic programs to meet the needs of students in a rapidly changing Jewish professional ecosystem, and significantly grew the school’s organizational capacity through increased philanthropy. Prior to his role at HUC, Erik served as Chief Operating Officer at Upstart Bay Area. He currently serves on the advisory council of IsraAID US and on the advisory board of Jewish Interactive. Erik holds a PhD from the University of Utah, an MA from Humboldt State University, and a BS from the University of Utah. 



As we share this good news with our community, we are conscious of the suffering of the people of Ukraine. The humanitarian crisis that is unfolding serves as a poignant reminder that the act of tzedakah is sacred and life-giving. Please join our communal response and give through Jewish Federation’s Ukraine Emergency Campaign.