Leichtag Foundation Announces Two New Board Members

March 7, 2019 

Contact: Jessica Kort
Senior Manager of Philanthropy and Communications
Leichtag Foundation
760-452-8145 | jessica@leichtag.org


ENCINITAS, Calif. – The Leichtag Foundation is pleased to welcome two new board members, Angelica Berrie and Charlene Seidle, to its Board of Directors effective March 1, 2019.

Angelica is President of The Russell Berrie Foundation, a former co-chair of the Jewish Funders Network and one of North America’s most prominent Jewish philanthropists. “Angelica has been such an important advisor, supporter and role model for the Foundation and our team,” noted Jim Farley, President and CEO of the Leichtag Foundation. “Her focus on impact and talent is well-aligned with the Foundation’s core strategic goals and tactics. In particular, her involvement in Jerusalem civil society and philanthropy has already helped drive and animate our impact. We couldn’t be more honored that she has agreed to bring her leadership and focus to the Foundation’s work.”


Charlene currently serves as Executive Vice President of the Leichtag Foundation and has been involved with the Foundation since its independence at the end of 2007. “Charlene’s passion and creative efforts especially in Jerusalem, for well over 20 years, have brought great honor to the Leichtag legacy,” said Farley. “Her example inspires all of us to be better professionals.”


Angelica Berrie is President of The Russell Berrie Foundation, which has made transformational gifts to establish the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University in New York, the Russ Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at the Technion in Israel, and the Pope John Paul II Center for Inter-Religious Studies at St. Thomas Aquinas University of the Angelicum in Rome. After the death of her husband, New Jersey sales entrepreneur, Russ Berrie, Angelica became Vice-Chair and CEO of Russ Berrie & Co., a global gift company known for its teddy bears and RUSS Trolls.


She is currently Board Chair of the Center for Inter-Religious Understanding; the Shalom Hartman Institute North America (a center for pluralistic Jewish learning in Jerusalem); Co-President of American Friends of Ofanim (a nonprofit organization in Israel whose mission is to deliver high-quality supplemental education to children in the periphery using mobile classrooms); a member and past Co-Chair of the Jewish Funders Network. With her brother Lorenzo Urra, Angelica co-founded Global Nomad, an experiential travel design company based in Hong Kong. She co-authored a book on philanthropy: “A Passion for Giving: Tools and Inspiration for Creating a Charitable Foundation,” with wealth adviser Peter Klein.


Charlene SeidleCharlene Seidle is Leichtag Foundation’s Executive Vice President. She has played a key leadership role in the development and implementation of Leichtag Foundation’s strategic framework, oversees grantmaking, and provides overall executive management. Charlene has designed and coordinated innovative initiatives such as the Jerusalem Model, the International Office for Jerusalem Partnerships, the Hive at Leichtag Commons, the Murray Galinson San Diego-Israel Initiative, funder partnerships and field building initiatives. Formerly, she served as President and CEO of Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego and has served on the board of Jewish Funders Network. Charlene received the 2013 JJ Greenberg Memorial Award, an international prize given to one outstanding philanthropic professional under the age of 40 each year.

Angelica and Charlene join existing Foundation board members:

  • Bernard A. Reiter, Esq., Chair
  • Emily Einhorn, Vice Chair
  • Jeffrey R. Solomon, Vice Chair
  • Robert Brunst, M.D., CFO and Treasurer
  • Jim Farley, Esq., President and CEO


About Leichtag Foundation

The Leichtag Foundation honors the legacy of Lee and Toni Leichtag through igniting and inspiring vibrant Jewish life, advancing self-sufficiency and stimulating social entrepreneurship in coastal North San Diego County and Jerusalem. Learn more at www.leichtag.org.