JVS Boston Names Kira Khazatsky as New CEO

Currently chief operating officer, 16-year agency veteran and former JVS client succeeds David Fleishman at leading workforce development/education agency

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#education–Jewish Vocational Service Boston (JVS Boston), one of New England’s largest providers of adult education and workforce development services, today announced the appointment of Kira Khazatsky as the agency’s new President and Chief Executive Officer.

Khazatsky has served for 16 years at JVS Boston, most recently as Chief Operating Officer and before that as Chief Program Officer and Vice President of Academic and Workplace Training, developing and growing JVS Boston’s nationally acclaimed suite of services for job seekers and employers in healthcare, biotechnology, manufacturing, hospitality, and many other sectors.

As immigrants to Boston from Russia in the early 1980s, Khazatsky and her family received key support from JVS Boston that empowered them to secure employment and get on the path to long-term opportunity and success. “JVS Boston helped my family get on their feet when we had nothing and needed it most, so it is the absolute privilege of my life to help lead JVS into a bright, exciting future of even greater positive impact for our job seekers, employers, and communities,’’ Khazatsky said.

Khazatsky succeeds David Fleishman as JVS Boston’s CEO. A former Newton, Mass., and Chappaqua, N.Y., Superintendent of Schools who was appointed to lead JVS last year, Fleishman announced to JVS staff that after stepping down from JVS, he will be returning to public education leadership.

Thanking all the “skilled and dedicated staff members who fulfill JVS’s mission of economic mobility and social justice while caring for one client at a time,’’ Fleishman, in a letter to JVS staff said: “As much as I have valued my time at JVS and the opportunity to serve this widely admired organization, it has become increasingly clear to me in recent months that my passion is working fully in person in public education.’’

Khazatsky takes the CEO position as JVS Boston is entering a comprehensive strategic planning process to refine the agency’s programs and overall mission. JVS is expanding its successful workforce-development partnership with Quincy College to transform its property at 122 Arlington Street in Boston into the “ArLab,” a state-of-the-art training facility to prepare people for a wide range of in-demand jobs in life sciences, healthcare, and medical research.

JVS Boston board chair Abby Flam said: “All of us who are leaders and supporters of JVS Boston know what an effective, proven, dynamic leader Kira is and how well-prepared she is to take JVS Boston to the next level as our new CEO, starting from day one. We appreciate David Fleishman’s dedicated service over these past several months and wish him the very best as he returns to his first love, public education leadership.’’

Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, President of Quincy College, said: “Kira has been an exceptional partner with Quincy College in developing and building out our vision for ArLab, a healthcare and biotechnology career institute and state-of-the-art simulation training space for job seekers and businesses. I am thrilled that JVS has named Kira their President and CEO and look forward to many more wonderful years of collaboration.”

Jerry Rubin, former JVS Boston President and CEO said: “Kira is a fantastic choice to lead JVS Boston. Her passion for the work was apparent from the first day she arrived nearly 17 years ago, and every day since she has given her all to meeting the needs of JVS clients and their employers and to nurturing a strong, supportive culture of collaboration across the agency.”

Added MJ Ryan, Mass General Brigham Senior Director, Workforce Development & Economic Opportunity: “Kira deeply understands the needs of our employers, job seekers, and regional economy, and she consistently goes above and beyond to deliver innovative solutions to the many workforce development and retention challenges employers like Mass General Brigham face.”

With an annual budget of $26 million and staff of 230, JVS every year assists more than 15,000 people, most of them adult immigrants, to enter today’s challenging regional job market through education, training, and English language skills programs focused on each client’s unique needs and strengths. JVS Boston’s deep, long-term partnerships with employers connects individuals to quality jobs that offer an ideal fit and have the potential to lead to meaningful lifelong careers and opportunity.

Khazatsky earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial psychology from Clark University and a master of arts from Suffolk University in Adult and Organizational Learning, the study of how adults learn and grow in organizational environments. Following a unanimous vote Wednesday night by the JVS Board of Directors, her appointment as CEO took effect this morning.

About JVS Boston

Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonsectarian organization founded in 1938. JVS serves more than 16,000 individuals annually and is one of the largest community-based providers of adult education and workforce development services in New England. JVS’s mission is to empower individuals from diverse communities to find employment and build careers, while partnering with employers to hire, develop, and retain productive workforces. In support of this mission, JVS provides a wide range of adult education, vocational training, job readiness, career counseling, and job placement services, as well as related supportive services.


Media Contact: Lidi Chea, Communications Manager, JVS Boston

lchea@jvs-boston.org or 617-399-3239