Leonard Petlakh

Executive Director, Kings Bay Y and JCC

Leonard Petlakh (he/him) has served as the Executive Director of Kings Bay Y and JCC Brooklyn since 2006. Their Southern Brooklyn-based flagship site serves a very significant population of Russian-American, Israeli-American, Orthodox, and Sephardic Jews. Their JCC Brooklyn sites serve three (soon to be four) storefront JCC locations in Brownstone and North Brooklyn— in North Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, and Windsor Terrace. Their young upwardly mobile parent clientele represents the fastest-growing Jewish denomination consisting of those who identify as Just Jewish or "kinda Jewish" in these new gentrified frontiers of Jewish life. The agency has received numerous awards for innovation, including UJA-Federation of NY's Riklis first prize for innovative programming initiatives. 

Leonard is on the Board of the JCC Association and NJHSA. Leonard has also been involved in myriad programs to bring together Brooklyn's Jewish and Muslim Turkish communities. Prior to this position, Leonard served as the Associate Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society and a Hillel Director in Manhattan. He earned a BA from Hunter College, CUNY; MBA from Baruch College, CUNY and an MPA from NYU. Leonard’s parents brought him to Brooklyn as a teenager from the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and convinced him that it was a contiguous part of the United States of America. Leonard and his family have lived in South Merrick on Long Island for many years. Thanks to a perpetual traffic-filled commute to his various Brooklyn locations, Leonard has developed a meaningful relationship with his beloved car. During the last year, he and his car have both discovered the joys of Zoom.