Liat Alon, PhD

Chief Learning and Engagement Officer

Liat Alon, CLEO

I am an alumna of Ben Gurion of the Negev, where I completed a master’s degree in Gender and Middle Eastern Studies and a PhD focusing on Jewish life in the Middle East and Israel. My research was an amazing quest that took me on a path that allowed me to explore my personal family history while gleaning new knowledge that expands what we know about Jewish History and Jewish life in the Middle East.

I taught at several of the leading academic institutions in Israel, while continuously filling executive roles in Israeli non-for-profit organizations. I specialized in community building, Jewish education and innovation and organizational growth. I was fortunate to take a path that allowed me to combine my intellectual/academic interests with work in the community. Focusing on the Middle East and on Jewish-Muslim relations also allowed me to become a facilitator of conversation and dialogue over divisive topics and among heterogenous groups.

Arriving in Champaign, IL from Israel in the summer of 2018 I served as an Israel Studies and Middle Eastern History Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, where I taught courses on the Arab Israeli Conflict, Israeli culture and history, and Middle Eastern societies, and establishing connections and partnerships with both the local and Chicago’s Jewish Federation, as well as with local organizations in the area.

In August of 2023, I moved to Sarasota to join the Federation management team as the Chief Learning and Engagement Officer. Moving with me to Sarasota were my daughters Achinoam and Attar, and my partner Stefan. Achinoam is now a student at SHS and Attar is in her last year at McIntosh Middle School. They both love (with a capital L) the life, beaches and endless summer here in town.

This position allows to me to bring my diverse experience and skills to the table and contribute to the strengthening and growth of our community and Federation. Throughout my career I have been passionate about finding new ways to make our vast Jewish cultural heritage accessible and relevant to all – texts, traditions, music, and history. As a thought leader and convenor our federation plays a vital role in the Jewish community as well as the general community and I am passionate about the work we have been, are, and will continue to do in the coming years.

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