Staff Spotlight: Nicole Malina, Director of Development
Nicole Malina is one of the newer additions to our AJCC family. She grew up in New York in a very strongly Jewish identified family, and Jewish values were a very important part of her upbringing: Tzedakah, Tikkun Olam, and the value of welcoming the stranger were all very important to her family. These values have clearly remained important to her throughout her life. She had her Bat Mitzvah in Israel on Mount Scopus, and her B.A. is from NYU in Ethnic Studies with a focus on Judaic Studies.
“After graduating,” Nicole explains, “I had a lot of different jobs, but I always had an interest in non-profit work. I always wanted to give back. After moving to San Francisco in 2000 to be closer to my family, who all live in California now, I started my non-profit career at the New Israel Fund. I particularly liked the development aspect of my work and I enjoyed forming relationships and getting to know the donors, so I decided to stay in that arena. In 2004, I went to work at the JCC in San Francisco as their Development Administrator and learned a great deal about working in the Jewish Community.
“After working at the JCCSF for 6 years, I wanted to move even closer to my parents, who are in LA. I moved down here in 2010 and ended up getting a position on the development team at the Aquarium of the Pacific. I absolutely fell in love with Long Beach. I really enjoyed being at the Aquarium, as my second passion is helping animals, but I always knew I would return to my roots. The head of development at the Aquarium was on the Jewish Federation Board of Directors, and I expressed to her my interest in getting involved with the local Jewish community. She nominated me for the Alpert New Leaders Forum, a fantastic experience and great program. ANLF led me to join both the Federation and Hillel boards.
“I met our Executive Director Jeffrey Rips when he came to the Federation board meetings representing the AJCC. He encouraged me to speak up in the meetings, and through meeting him, I had the opportunity to learn more about the J. I became interested in ways that I could help the AJCC with fundraising, and when the Director of Development position opened a year ago, I was eager to apply! I began at the J in February of 2016 and I love it here. It’s such a great place for me, and has really become a second home. I love seeing the entire community congregate, from young to old. We play a part in every stage of people’s lives. I have made a lot of friends here, and I appreciate coming to work and seeing my wonderful colleagues.
“As Director of Development, I’m able to give the community an opportunity to invest in the wonderful programs that we are so proud of. Our members and donors are so dedicated to the community, and I love being able to help them stay connected to this amazing place. I’m really grateful to be here.”
And we are grateful to have Nicole’s high energy and enthusiasm so much a part of what makes the Alpert JCC such a special place to be. Nicole volunteers helping rescue animals, collects hip hop records, and lives in Belmont Heights with her two adorable cats, Pepper and Jersey Boy.