Cindy Rogoway first woman to head Hebrew Free Loan

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The glass ceiling at Hebrew Free Loan lasted 117 years, but Cindy Rogoway smashed through it. She is the first woman to be named as the agency’s executive director, replacing Ed Cushman, who retired on May 1.

Cindy Rogoway

“I feel honored and blessed to have been chosen,” Rogoway told J. “I hope they chose me because I’m the right person for the job and not just because I’m a woman. But I’m excited to break new ground.”

An 11-year veteran of HFLA, Rogoway previously served as associate director and development director. Prior to that, the Los Angeles native worked for 14 years at the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, serving as associate campaign director, leadership development director and director of the North Peninsula region.

Rogoway said a key task is to increase her agency’s outreach. “People are less affiliated with organizations in the Jewish community, she said. “It’s an increased challenge for us to make sure people know we are here.”

She added that the agency, which currently has a loan balance of more than $8 million, will increase that figure, helping more Jews pay for college, start a business, adopt a child or get back on their feet financially. She also cited an upcoming pilot program, financed via separately raised funds, that will make nonsectarian college loans available to underprivileged youth.

“There is something wonderful about sitting across the table from someone facing a need, and knowing you’re in a position to offer the support they are looking for, and make their life whole.” — j. staff