New Executive Director of Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom


Survivor of Siege of Sarajevo brings personal and professional experience to position

May 26, 2021 – The Board of Trustees of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom is pleased to announce that Tahija Vikalo, of Bala Cynwyd, PA, has been named executive director of the organization. The Sisterhood is an international organization of Muslim and Jewish women devoted to fighting hate and promoting social justice. Vikalo is only the second executive director of the 8-year-old non-profit, succeeding Sheryl Olitzky, co-founder and founding executive director.

“Tahija brings a world of experience to this position and we are so thrilled to have her join us in this capacity,” said Roberta Elliott, president of the Sisterhood. “Tahija’s resume rose to the top of hundreds we reviewed, with impressive experience in project management, human resources, and education. Equally important, interfaith work is part of her DNA. She was born into a family of devout Muslims – her grandfather was an imam who was persecuted by both the Nazis and the Communists – who encouraged her to engage across the rainbow of religions that comprise her native Sarajevo. She is a survivor of the siege of that city and came to this country as a student. Tahija’s work and life experiences have given her unparalleled wisdom and empathy to lead an interfaith organization dedicated to fighting hate.”

Vikalo holds a BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania. For nine years she worked for the American Friends Service Committee, initially as the program coordinator in the Middle East and Europe, rising to program director for Asia. She has also served as the HR and Organizational Development Director/Assistant Head of Schools for International Montessori Schools.

Vikalo comes to her position as the Sisterhood’s staff leader with a deep knowledge of the organization. She has been the co-leader of her Philadelphia-based chapter for three years, and last June joined the Board of Trustees, becoming its treasurer.

“I am honored and excited to start this new chapter in my life. It comes at a time when world and national events require both Muslims and Jews to stand up and be counted in their support of all marginalized people. It is not an exaggeration to say that becoming the executive director of the Sisterhood feels like the culmination of everything I’ve worked toward professionally and personally. I look forward to working with and learning from all my sisters as we become true leaders in bringing change, justice and peace to this world.”

For more information on the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, please visit its website at:, or contact Samantha Facciolo: [email protected].

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