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AHAVA CEO Elana Drell Szyfer speaks about leadership

AHAVA CEO Elana Drell Szyfer speaks about leadership



Elana Drell Szyfer of skin care company AHAVA speaks
May 5 at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership 
about how family, education, and 
community values can drive leadership.

She appears as part of a series of impressive leaders who inspire
new thinking on the critical issues of our times.

(Chicago) Elana Drell Szyfer is CEO of AHAVA North America and Deputy CEO of AHAVA Dead Sea Laboratories, Inc. An expert marketer with a successful history of launching and repositioning prestigious cosmetic brands, when she joined AHAVA she found herself compelled to counteract anti-Israel bias along with representing AHAVA’s products. Ms. Szyfer is a recent winner of the National Council of Jewish Women’s “Woman Who Dared” award for her leadership and advocacy.

Elana Drell Szyferwill speak at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership on Sunday, May 5 at 2 pm. In a talk titled Global Vision, Jewish Leadership, and a Woman’s Journey to the Dead Sea, she will share how family, education, and community values have informed and continue to drive her leadership.

Ms. Szyfer’s appearance is part of the Spertus Prime speaker series, an impressive line-up of individuals whose work inspires new thinking with real-world application. Past Spertus Prime speakers include Kenneth Feinberg, director of the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund, and award-winning novelist Jonathan Safran Foer. Statistician Nate Silver will speak at Spertus as part of the series on May 19.

AHAVA is an Israeli skin-care company with products based on minerals from the Dead Sea. Named for the Hebrew word for “love,” AHAVA is sold in more than 30 countries. Among Ms. Szyfer’s varied roles, she promotes AHAVA’s cosmetics on the Home Shopping Network, oversees the Dead Sea Essentials line sold exclusively at Target, works to raise awareness of Israel as a source of scientific innovation in the beauty industry, and serves as a mentor for the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Graduate Program. Since she joined AHAVA, the company’s North American sales have increased by more than 50 percent.

Before joining AHAVA in 2011, Ms. Szyfer was Senior VP of Global Marketing for Estée Lauder Brand, where she led the re-launch of Advanced Night Repair, introducing it to a new generation of now loyal fans and helping to double the brand’s annual sales. Ms. Szyfer has also held top-level positions at L'Oreal's Lancôme Division, Avon, and Prescriptives, a division of Estée Lauder Companies.

Ms. Szyfer is a graduate of Columbia College of Columbia University and the Stern School of Business at New York University. She serves on the board of the Women’s Philanthropy Division of the MetroWest Jewish Federation. In 2012, she was honored by Jewish Women International as one of JWI’s “Women to Watch” and was selected by The Forward as a member of the “Forward 50,” putting her among the most influential Jewish Americans.

Ms. Szyfer will be introduced by Roz Varon, Traffic and Transportation Anchor for ABC 7 News and host of the station’sWeekender entertainment round-up. Ms. Varon also writes "Roz on the Road," a blog that covers topics from construction challenges to life challenges.

The Elana Drell Szyfer program takes place at Spertus Institute, 610 S. Michigan Avenue. Discount parking is available for $10 with Spertus validation at the Essex Inn, two blocks south of Spertus.

Tickets are $35, $25, and $15. All seats reserved. $35 tickets include a special Meet & Greet Reception with Elana Drell Szyfer at 3 pm. Tickets are on sale online at and by phone at 312.322.1773. 

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Spertus offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs — including films, speakers, seminars, and concerts — take place at the Institute's Michigan Avenue facility, in the Chicago suburbs, and online. For more information, please visit

Elana Drell Szyfer’s appearance at Spertus is made possible with support from the Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation and other generous donors.

Spertus Institute is a partner in serving the community, supported by the JUF/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.


Friday, April 12, 2013