Patty Shelanski joins UJFT as Arts + Ideas manager

by | Sep 19, 2019 | Other News

Patty Shelanski

Patty Shelanski

United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s new Arts + Ideas manager, Patty Shelanski, is no stranger to Tidewater. Shelanski and her husband, Herm, recently returned to Norfolk after five years in Washington, DC, and she says, “we are so happy to be back in this wonderful community.”

According to Shelanski, her career has been “sporadic and varied over the years—professional and non-paid, but it has led me to where I am today and I could not be more thrilled.”

In her early years, Shelanski worked in the aerospace industry, first as a facilities analyst, and later as a strategic business planner and consultant. After a rather long break, she reentered the workplace as the administrator and program planner for the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center in Portsmouth, and then moved to Jewish Family Service where she worked with older adults as the volunteer coordinator and ran the Meals on Wheels program and the Food Pantry.

Non-paid positions are too numerous to list, she notes, but most, if not all, had to do with children, Scouts (Boy and Girl), schools, and the military.

“As the new Arts + Ideas manager I get to surround myself with things I truly love—books, films, interesting people, and most important, all things Jewish and Israel!” says Shelanski. “We have an exciting line up of wonderful visiting authors for our upcoming Book Festival, and movie screeners are being watched daily by our screening committee for another great Film Festival in 2020. Plus, Israel Fest in May 2020 is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever.”

To volunteer on one of the many festival committees, or to share ideas for future programming, contact Shelanski at