Lori Starr, executive director of the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM), which was founded in 2008 with the intent to explore contemporary Jewish culture through the arts, will step down from her post at the San Francisco institution in December. She intends to remain in the Bay Area and pursue new projects and professional opportunities.

During Starr’s seven-year tenure as executive director, she oversaw the organization of exhibitions like “Designing Home: Jews and Mid-Century Modernism” (2014) and “Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show” (2017), expanded the museum’s commitment to California artists, and led the development of the Helen Diller Institute. The CJM raised over $40 million in contributions during her tenure.

“I’m thinking of this as my shmita,” said Starr, referring to the Hebrew term for the sabbath or sabbatical year. “As I move into this next stage of my career, I hope to continue to be of value to the field at large, and I’m excited to have the space for new ideas and opportunities.”

“She has been very important to The Museum, and she leaves us with an exceptionally talented team to continue its success,” said Elliott Felson, president of the CJM’s Board of Trustees. A search for her successor will begin immediately.


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