David de Graaf lives and works in the Boston area. He grew up in the Netherlands where he was engaged in a small but active Liberal Jewish community and worked as a Jewish educator as a young adult. He came to the US as a camp counselor at URJ Camp Eisner in the Berkshires, which was a transformational experience and made him think about studying in the US after obtaining his undergraduate degree at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. David moved to Chicago for graduate school, where he met his partner, Rachel Kalikow. After post-doctoral research at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, David and Rachel came to the Boston area.
Next to his work in pharmaceutical research and as a leader in early-stage biotechnology companies, David has been active in the Jewish community in a variety of ways. He has been engaged in the Jewish community as the board chair at Kesher Newton, a Jewish after school program, and as a volunteer at Gann Academy, a Jewish pluralistic high school. He is a member of the Newton Centre Minyan, an independent prayer community. David is the parent of two young Jewish adults, one of whom participated in Tivnu.
David brings to Tivnu the perspective of a parent who saw his child blossom in the program as well as his professional experience of getting small organizations to develop, grow and flourish. David cherishes the unique opportunity to help the only US-based, pluralistic Jewish gap year program generate the next cadre of Jewish leaders for our communities.