News, People

Laura Kaplan Paller Brings Talent, Experience, and a Legacy of Community Impact as VP of Finance & Operations for Jewish Community Partners

by JCPConnect-
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By Shoshana Cenker

A native Memphian has returned to her roots in the community she loves. Laura Kaplan Paller is Jewish Community Partner’s (JCP) new VP of Finance & Operations, the role she began this past October.

“I oversee the day-to-day operational and financial management of JCP,” she explained.

After graduating with a business degree in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia, Laura lived and worked in New York City for Marsh and McLennan. The next step in her career took her to Birmingham, Alabama, where she served as regional director of operations for an optometry group.

But Memphis came calling, literally. When a recruiter reached out about a position in Memphis, Laura’s father Michael encouraged her to consider. When Laura was offered the role of Director of Operations for University Clinical Health, she once again became a Memphian, this time by choice. During her five years in that position, she began thinking more and more about deepening her connections in the Jewish community. A spontaneous phone call to Laura Linder, JCP’s President & CEO paved the way to the start of her career as a Jewish professional in her hometown. Jewish Community Partners is the managing organization of the Jewish Foundation of Memphis and Memphis Jewish Federation.

“I’m a founding member of Memphis B’nai Tzedek, the Jewish Foundation of Memphis Teen Philanthropy Program, and I’ve been on Foundation’s board since 2020 as a representative for Anshei Sphard-Beth El Emeth,” Kaplan Paller said. “I had sworn I would never move back, but I love this community. Jewish Memphis has such unique qualities for a community our size. Coming to JCP feels like home, like a warm hug.”

Laura’s role consists of managing all shared resources — think finance, HR, marketing, technology, facilities, investments, compliance, and risk management.

“We are so thrilled that Laura has joined our team as Vice President of Finance & Operations. She brings incredible management and operations experience, but most importantly, she is deeply committed to our Jewish community and passionate about our work,” said Linder. “My personal relationship with her goes back decades to when she was a student in B’nai Tzedek. I’d like to think those early years of engagement in philanthropy had an impact on her career choice.”

 “I want my kids to grow up with same feeling of community — all the support they’ll ever a need, because people always step up here — and I want to be part of that, too,” Laura said. Married in 2019 to Jeffrey Paller, the happy couple has two children — Sadie is 2½ years old and Emma is 8 months. “My parents have been so involved in the Jewish community, it’s ingrained in us. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to continue the legacy my parents have shown for community involvement.”

“Laura’s previous work experience and insight as a former board member of Jewish Foundation of Memphis are great assets for our organizations and made her the right person for this position,” said Cindy Finestone, Chair of Memphis Jewish Federation. “She clearly understands our organizations, opportunities, and challenges, and I’m excited for her to be part of our professional staff. I also loved the fact that she was an alumni advisor of Foundation’s B’nai Tzedek Teen Philanthropy program.” 

“I’m very excited about the addition of Laura to the team,” said Jason Salomon, Jewish Foundation of Memphis Board Chair. “Her professional experience and passion for our Jewish community make her a perfect fit for JCP. I look forward to seeing her role grow in the organization. Additionally, with two Laura’s in the boardroom, I’d like to be the first to publicly lobby for the nickname ‘LP’!”

Laura can be reached at: lkaplan@jcpmemphis.org or 901.767.7119.

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