Ilana Zafran Walden Chief Operating Officer
Ilana serves as Umoja’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), overseeing Umoja’s day-to-day operations, human resources, and long-term strategy.
Ilana joined Umoja in 2006, serving a year-long Avodah fellowship. After completing her fellowship, Ilana stayed with Umoja, working with students in academic, leadership and service learning programs. Prior to assuming the role of COO, Ilana led the development, implementation and expansion of Umoja’s restorative justice programming.
She has extensive experience implementing restorative practices with students and adults, training adults in restorative justice, and partnering with schools to set up systems and structures which support restorative practices and reduce suspensions. Ilana has a deep passion for restorative justice and social emotional learning and in her role as COO is committed to ensuring that Umoja staff have the tools and resources they need to do their work effectively.
A graduate of the College of Wooster, Ilana has served as a member of the Chicago Freedom School’s Board of Directors and currently sits on the Avodah national board of directors as well as the Editorial Board of Catalyst Chicago, an independent education reporting organization. Ilana was also selected as a 2014 American Jewish World Service Global Justice Fellow as well as a 2016/2017 Allstate Greater Good Fellow.