Museum staff look out over the city from the rooftop during a site visit, December 2021.
Ivy Barsky, Executive Director

Ivy Barsky, Interim Executive Director

Ivy brings 30 years of experience in museum leadership, and with major museum construction and exhibition projects. She served for eight years as CEO of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia and 15 years at the the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City (first as founding director of education, then as deputy director). She has an M.A. in the history of art from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from New York University.

Ivy is an arts and culture hound, avid reader, and music fan. She always aims to make a dent in the universe.

Jaclyn Bivens, Program Associate

Originally from New Hampshire, Jaclyn has lived in D.C. since 2005 when she moved here to attend American University.  Jaclyn first worked for the museum while it was the Jewish Historical Society in 2015 as an intern while completing her Master’s Degree in Museum Studies at The George Washington University.

Jaclyn is passionate about the way museums can educate and inspire us to explore the world around us, and can be a part in making a better world for everyone.

C. Andrew Coulomb, Chief Operating Officer

Andrew previously served as Director of Operations at The Valentine and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, and as Deputy Director and Interim Executive Director at the Virginia Holocaust Museum.

Andrew will put his extensive experience to work for CJM, overseeing finance and administration, business operations, and building management. A board member of the Virginia Association of Museums, he’s also a tremendous advocate for the role of museums in building and sustaining communities.

Lisa Del Sesto, Education Manager for Programs  

Lisa Del Sesto was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history from Kenyon College, she moved to Washington D.C. in 2013 to earn a master’s degree in Jewish Cultural Arts from George Washington University. She comes to CJM from 6 years at the Bender JCC of Greater Washington as the Director of Arts and Ideas. Lisa spends most of her free time with her nose in a book only to be interrupted by her other great love of frequenting new restaurants around D.C.

Jonathan Edelman, Collections Curator

Jonathan Edelman was born and raised in Kansas City, moving to D.C. in 2016 to work with the curatorial team at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He has a Masters in Museum Studies from The George Washington University and a Bachelors degree in Cultural Studies & Communications from Clark University. Edelman also serves on the board of the Edlavitch DC JCC and is a member of Adas Israel Synagogue.

Grace Handakas, Assistant to the Executive Director

Grace Handakas is a native of Richmond, Virginia, where she has experience at historic institutions such as the Virginia Museum of History and Culture and the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site. She holds a B.A. in history and media studies from the University of Virginia, and an M.A. in history from Virginia Commonwealth University. When not at a museum, she can be found at a library, theatre, or gymnastics meet.

Sarah Leavitt, Curator

Sarah, who hails from Wisconsin, moved to Silver Spring, Maryland in 2000. She holds an MA in Museum Studies and a PhD in American Studies from Brown University, and has worked in museums for over 30 years.

Sarah comes to CJM most immediately from 13 years at the National Building Museum in DC. Her publications include several books and articles; some of her favorites cover the history of the pregnancy test kit and the TV show Veronica Mars. She is also Event Review Co-Editor for American Quarterly, a member of Temple Shalom, and loves to run when her knee cooperates.

Staff photo: Raven Orlikoff

Raven Orlikoff, Membership Coordinator

Raven Orlikoff is a native of Norristown, Georgia. After completing a Bachelor’s in History at the University of Georgia, Raven relocated to Norfolk, Virginia where she served as Assistant Director of the Hunter House Victorian Museum. Recently working in development and events at the National Sporting Library & Museum in Middleburg, Virginia, Raven can often be found exploring the many cultural institutions of Washington, DC as a lifelong admirer of art and architecture.

Bernard Powe, Facilities Manager

Originally from Laurel, Mississippi, Powe has more than 20 years of experience in facility management and has worked with both corporate and residential facilities.

Maura Scanlon, Communications Specialist

A Virginia native, Maura has more than 10 years of museum communications experience, including two capital projects. Highlights of her career include being a docent at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, promoting the Jewish Museum in NYC, and supporting the opening of the expanded Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut.