Aaron Katler

CEO

Bringing to light

The wisdom and creativity of the UpStart team and network

The basics

Aaron is both an experienced entrepreneur and intrapreneur, having worked in key strategy, operations, and leadership roles for Jewish nonprofits and private sector businesses.

Prior to UpStart, Aaron served as Director of Special Projects and a Senior Philanthropic Advisor at the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, The Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma Counties. For five years, he served in senior leadership at BBYO, including three years as its Chief Field Officer. Aaron holds an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a Certificate in Informal Jewish Education from Hebrew College in Boston. Aaron founded Endangered Spirit, a successful Jewish edu-tourism business that led environmental education trips throughout the United States, Central America, and South America.

Joyful Jewish expression is an integral part of Aaron’s family life in Berkeley, CA, where his wife Deb is also a Jewish communal professional and their children, Shoshana and Noah, are actively engaged in the many vibrant Jewish programs available in the East Bay.

How Aaron finds meaning and comes together with others

Aaron finds meaning in shared experiences, being surrounded by community, and laughter. As a frequent synagogue attendee, Aaron often sits in the no-talking section as a way of being alone and reflective while being part of a community. Other times, Aaron is the one being shushed for laughing with friends or family in the back row! Taking his passions seriously but not taking himself too seriously is one of Aaron’s core values.