About Us

Who Is The Greenville Jewish Federation

A focused 501c(3)

The Greenville Jewish Federation is focused on creating a strong Jewish community through programming and services. Programs are designed to create unity and embrace Jewish identity, pride, and culture. Services are built to help meet the needs of our Jewish brethren at all ages and stages, regardless of affiliation or where they are from. 

Our Mission

It's Simple 

Promote Jewish values through educational, social, and cultural programming to build, strengthen, and support our community and Jewish people globally. 

How We Do What We Do

YOU, make it possible!

You and every Upstate, SC Jewish community resident are part of The Greenville Jewish Federation. We rely on our community to guide, attend, and help fund programs and services. Volunteers are needed to serve on the board and committees, help at planned programs and events, and help support services. The generous financial donations from within our community allow us to serve and oversee the allocation of funds to other deserving programs and agencies, furthering our mission outside and inside our community here in the Upstate. 

Our History

It began in 1946 

Now Greenville Jewish Federation, Inc., the organization was originally founded on March 23, 1946, as The Federated Jewish Charities Incorporated of Greenville, S.C. Max Heller was one of our founding directors along with Harry Fay, Nathaniel Kaplan, and Sidney Sohliefstein.

Prior to 2016, we operated as a membership-based organization, and we were 100% volunteer-led. Things changed when the Board at the time chose to make the PJ Library program professionally led and hired a part-time employee to manage subscriptions and programming for the families. Additionally, the community voted and approved a revision to the bylaws to remove membership with the Board managing operations and guiding the PJ Professional.

On May 16, 2023, the Board made another big vote and moved from being volunteer-led to professionally-led with the hiring of its first CEO. Over the past 77+ years, the organization has been supported predominantly through local community giving and participation. While some funding comes from grants and partnerships with regional and national organizations, the focus is on serving the Upstate of SC. 

See the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities - Upstate SC for more history of our Jewish community.

Our Professional Team

Courtney Tessler


Danielle Eisner Hansen


Miki Karki 


Jewish Family Services of the Upstate

Stephanie Perler Garst


Our Board of Directors

Andy Etkind


Chuck Flavio 


MItch Wolin


Yelena Trepetin


Lorie Ederr

Morgan Cooper

Jackie Shapiro Brooker

Michele Brinn

Steve Gardner 

Evelyn Opper

Jodie Knofsky




Supporting our Federation makes it possible for us to continue offering programs and services to the Jewish residents and greater community within Upstate, SC.