Alison Laichter

Jewish Meditation Center |



Alison Laichter founded and directed the Jewish Meditation Center (JMC) and successfully transitioned the organization to a volunteer-led community model. Alison is a consultant, urban planner, community organizer, meditation teacher, and she is based in sunny Southern California. As the founding director of the JMC, Alison created the first ever grassroots and community-led Jewish Meditation Center. At the JMC, Alison directed all aspects of the organization, earning a spot in Slingshot’s 50 Most Innovative Jewish Nonprofits in North America three years in a row, a residency at Bikkurim, and Alison was named one of the Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36: Visionaries for a New Era.”

Before founding the JMC, Alison’s urban planning career began with economic consulting for cities throughout the United States. She worked for the United Nations Development Programme and for Transportation Alternatives where she directed a community action plan to re-imagine the entire east side of Manhattan for bicycle and pedestrian safety. Alison graduated from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art with a B.E. in Civil Engineering, and she received an M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University, where her thesis on horticulture therapy during incarceration linked with green collar jobs won the Charles Abrams Award for Best Masters Thesis.

In her current role as a consultant, Alison works with organizations and communities to create and facilitate programs, professional development trainings, events, online resources, community building, revenue creation, and strategic planning. Alison’s most recent work has been with the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, Leichtag Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Asylum Arts, OneTable, and Custom & Craft. Alison also continues to teach meditation and leads classes, workshops, and retreats all over the world, including at JCC’s, synagogues, schools, hospitals, festivals, conferences, and High Holiday meditation retreats with her fellow Joshua Venture Group fellow, Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum, at the Kavana Cooperative.

Jewish Meditation Center

The Jewish Meditation Center (JMC) is a growing organization that supports Jewish meditation, learning, spiritual practice, and community building through weekly programming, holiday workshops, guest speakers, social events, and a vibrant online presence. As the only Jewish meditation community created and run by young Jews, the JMC is a groundbreaking organization that fosters a thriving community of meditators and spiritual leaders, transforming the world through the cultivation of awareness, compassion, and Jewish wisdom. More hip than hippie, more grassroots than guru, the JMC is building a replicable model that incorporates open-source collective resource sharing, multi-focal leadership, and a belief that true and sustainable Tikkun Olam happens from the inside out.