Contemporary Jewish Museum names new director

After more than a year without a permanent executive director, the Contemporary Jewish Museum has announced that Lori Starr will fill the top spot, effective June 10.

Starr comes to the Bay Area after seven years as executive director of the Koffler Centre of the Arts, a Jewish cultural institution in Toronto. She will replace Connie Wolf, who departed at the end of 2011 to become the director of the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University.

Lori Starr

“Lori Starr’s broad experience and vision for the future of museums is tailor made for the CJM,” said CJM trustee and incoming board chair Mark Schlesinger. “She will continue to position the museum as a pacesetter within the cultural fabric of San Francisco and beyond.”

During Starr’s tenure in Toronto, the Koffler Centre won acclaim for its series of public programs, artist/scholar residencies, classes and cultural happenings. She also served as vice president for culture for the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

Before moving to Toronto, Starr served from 2001 to 2006 as senior vice president and museum director of the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. From 1986 to 2001, she was director of communications and public affairs for the J. Paul Getty Trust and J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

The native of Jersey City, N.J., is a longtime admirer of the Contemporary Jewish Museum, having viewed several exhibitions there.

“I’ve been fan of the museum since its inception,” Starr said. “I am friendly with a number of staff members, including the former director, Connie Wolf. The museum has done amazing work in its first five years in the new facility, and I believe it’s poised to make an even greater contribution to the vitality of Jewish life in North America.” — dan pine

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is a J. staff writer. He retired as news editor in 2020. Dan can be reached at