Meet the Women’s Philanthropy Team

Malki Karkowsky
Director, Women’s Philanthropy
Malki has spent more than a decade in the Jewish communal field including Hillel International, The Jewish Federation of Cleveland, BBYO in New England and Hillels at the University of North Carolina and George Washington University.

She has an MBA in non-profit management and is a Maryland native and recently returned to the area with her husband and two children, where she looks forward to strengthening the role of women philanthropists in Greater Washington.


Melissa Lazarus
Melissa moved to the Greater Washington area from New York and joined The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington staff in February 2016. Melissa is the Development Officer for Federation’s  Women’s Philanthropy team. In this role, Melissa has the pleasure of working with a variety of donors and lay leaders and overseeing the Mitzvah Mavens Committee, the Young Women’s Coalition and engagement efforts in Virginia.

Prior to working at Federation, Melissa was the New York Assistant Director for CAMERA and worked for The Simon Wiesenthal Center. She has a BA in Anthropology from York University and an MSW in Community Organizing and Jewish Communal Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Melissa grew up in Toronto, Canada by parents who were very involved with UJA and other Jewish causes, locally and in Israel. This childhood inspired Melissa’s passion for supporting the Jewish community in any way she could. Melissa feels honored to have a career where she directly impacts Jewish resources locally, in Israel and overseas.

Melissa lives in Kemp Mill with her husband Chaim.


Natasha Kaufman Sheme
Natasha joined The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s professional team as the Assistant for Women’s Philanthropy and Philanthropic Leadership. Natasha’s primary responsibilities include project management and logistical coordination of Federation’s partnership with The Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP), ongoing Women’s Philanthropy events and other administrative tasks.

Natasha hails from New York, and before moving to the Greater Washington area she graduated with a BA in Psychology and Business from Queens College. In her spare time she loves to take dance classes, go to the symphony and paint with acrylics and watercolors. But most of all, Natasha loves the Jewish community and feels proud of the contribution she is able to make to it every day through her work at Federation.