Naomi Shapiro

Naomi Shapiro

Naomi Shapiro’s dedication and commitment to everything she does might explain why she’s so successful bringing Israel into the lives of so many people and keeping them connected. Adjectives such as dedicated, devoted, dependable, loyal, and committed were some of the words co-worker Sharna Marcus and friend Caryn Peretz used to describe her in nominating her for Double Chai in the Chi.

Naomi is the North American Director of Shorashim, where she facilitates pivotal Israel experiences and educational opportunities for teens and young adults from around the Chicago area. Prior to that, she worked at the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C, as the head coordinator of JUF’s Israel Solidarity Day, and for Birthright Israel NEXT, keeping Birthright alumni connected to Israel. Keeping track of so many details and working with so many thousands of young adults could make anyone crazy, but Naomi “works well with everyone and has the ability to assess difficult situations and respond to them professionally and calmly,” Sharna said.

After deciding to stay in the States rather than make aliyah, Naomi never looked back, and devoted her life to Jewish communal work. Caryn said, “No matter what Naomi does, she does it with all her heart and soul.” Apparently, that includes being an incredible free-style dancer.

Naomi Shapiro


Pays the bills:
North American Director, Shorashim

On the side:
Spending time with friends and family, chasing after my one-year-old, running and cooking.

Relationship status:

Describe yourself in 10 words or less:
Fun-loving, hard-working, genuine, trustworthy.

Celebrity doppelganger:
Rachel Weisz

How do you Jew in Chicago?
I am member of Anshe Emet's Rose Crown Minyan, have Shabbat with friends, attend lots of Jewish events.

Israel, family, cheese.

How do you give back?
Because I grew up in a small Jewish community in Champaign, spending time in Israel and at summer camp at OSRUI were incredibly important to me in feeling part of the global Jewish community. By helping others travel to Israel through my work at Shorashim, I hope that I am helping other find their place in our community.

Fill in the blank: If time and money were limitless, I would:
Buy a second home in Israel, volunteer, travel the world, and fund meaningful projects.

Chicago's Jewish community in 10 years:
In 10 years, Chicago's Jewish community will still be thriving, increasingly diverse, and spread out more geographically.

Me in 10 years:
Still working in the Jewish community and living in the city with another kid or two. Involved in community, of course!