The Team / The International Board of Governors

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz
Amira Aharonoviz
Sandy Baklor
Prof. Irwin Cotler
Esther Dominicini
Eric Fingerhut
John Fishel
Wendy Fisher
Sami Friedrich
Ralph Gerson
Sara Genstil
Eric S. Goldstein
Alan Hoffmann
Steve Hoffman
Former JPPI President
Bernard-Henri Lévy
Glen Lewy
Daniel Liwerant
Prof. Judith Boxer Liwerant
Linda Mirels
Sallai Meridor
Adv. Isaac Molho
Miriam Naor
Lonnie Nasatir
Dr. Steve Nasatir
Prof. Jehuda Reinharz
Mark Rosenberg
Gary Rosenblatt
Erika Rudin-Luria
Josh Schwarcz
Director of External Relations, The Jewish Agency for Israel
Amb. Zalman Shoval
Michael Siegel
Dr. Jeffrey R. Solomon
Michael H. Steinhardt
James Tisch
Marc Utay
Ayelet Nachmias-Verbin
Mark Wilf
Aharon Yadlin

Bio

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz is the Rabbi of North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, Illinois. He was born in Toronto, Canada, received his B.A. from York University (1971), his M.A. and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary (1976) and his Doctor of Ministry degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary (1981). He also received a Doctor of Divinity degree (Honoris Causa) from the Jewish Theological Seminary (2003).

Rabbi Kurtz recently completed a 6-year term as President of MERCAZ Olami, the World Zionist organization of the Conservative Movement. He is an associate member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency, has been elected to its executive, and serves as deputy chairman of its Russian Speaking Jewry committee. He is past President of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative Rabbis, and was a member for many years of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. He served for 10 years as a member of the Leadership Council of Conservative Judaism. Rabbi Kurtz served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, including a term as Vice-Chairman. Rabbi Kurtz is a member of the board of the Jewish People Policy Institute.

Rabbi Kurtz has served in leadership positions in the areas of Jewish communal and interfaith activities. He has been President of MERCAZ USA, President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, Chairman of the United Jewish Appeal Rabbinic Cabinet and President of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago. Rabbi Kurtz is the recipient of the Rabbinic Award, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Council of Jewish Federations (1984 and 1985); the Young Leadership Award, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (1985); Jerusalem Covenant Award, State of Israel Bonds (1996)/Star of David Award, State of Israel Bonds (2008); the Rabbi Simon Greenberg Rabbinic Achievement Award, The Jewish Theological Seminary (1998); the Rabbi Mordecai Simon Memorial Award, Chicago Board of Rabbis (2008), the Julius Rosenwald Memorial Award, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (2010), and the Rabbi Mordecai Waxman Memorial Rabbinic and Community Leadership Award, Masorti Olami (2011). Rabbi Kurtz is adjunct Professor of Rabbinics at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. He has authored teshuvot for the Law Committee and has published articles in periodicals and books. Currently he is a monthly Torah commentator for the Chicago Jewish News and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem.

Rabbi Kurtz and his wife, Bryna, are the parents of two daughters, Hadassa (Haim) who lives in Israel and Shira who works at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington D.C. as a neuropsychologist. He is the proud saba of Shmuel Binyamin, Meytal Dvora and Anael Rina.

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Law Professor, Constitutional and Comparative Law Scholar, International Human Rights Lawyer, Counsel to prisoners of conscience, NGO Head, Public Intellectual, Peace Activist, Member of Parliament, and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada – Irwin Cotler has been variously described in these roles and responsibilities as being “at the forefront of the struggle for justice, peace and human rights.”

Irwin Cotler is presently a Canadian Member of Parliament first elected in a by-election in November 1999 with 92% of the votes, in what was characterized as “the most stunning electoral victory in this century by any standard”. He was re-elected in the general elections of November 2000, June 2004, and January 2006, with the highest Liberal majority in the country, and, most recently, in October 2008.

On December 12, 2003, the Prime Minister appointed him Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. He was reappointed following the General Election of June 2004 and served in that office until the general election of January 2006, when the Liberal government was defeated. He is currently serving as Liberal Critic for Human Rights, is a member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights, and Chair of the All-Party Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition. A leading public advocate in and out of Parliament for the Human Rights Agenda, he headed the Canadian Delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on the Prevention of Genocide.

As Minister of Justice and Attorney General, he helped transform the face of the judiciary through the appointment of two outstanding women justices to the Supreme Court of Canada –Mesdames Justices Rosalie Abella and Louise Charron– making the Supreme Court of Canada the most gender representative Supreme Court in the world, while appointing the first ever visible minority and aboriginal justices to appellate courts. He also initiated legislation for the Protection of Children and other Vulnerable Persons; the first ever legislation to criminalize trafficking in persons; made the pursuit of international justice a priority, including, in particular, the combating of mass atrocity and genocide; initiated the first ever prosecution under the Canadian War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Act for incitement to genocide in Rwanda; issued the first ever National Justice Initiative Against Racism and Hate; and quashed more wrongful convictions in a single year than any prior Minister.

Mr. Cotler is currently on leave as a Professor of Law at McGill University, where he is Director of its Human Rights Program, and Chair of InterAmicus, the McGill-based International Human Rights Advocacy Centre. He has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Yale Law School, and is the recipient of nine Honourary Doctorates, including from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, whose various citations refer to him as “a scholar and advocate of international stature.”

A constitutional and comparative law scholar, he litigated every section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including landmark cases in the areas of free speech, freedom of religion, women’s rights, minority rights, war crimes justice, prisoners’ rights, and peace law. He has testified as an expert witness on human rights before Parliamentary Committees in Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Israel, and has lectured at major international academic and professional gatherings in America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

An international human rights lawyer, Professor Cotler served as Counsel to former prisoners of conscience in the former Soviet Union (Andrei Sakharov & Nathan Sharansky), South Africa (Nelson Mandela), Latin America (Jacobo Timmerman), and Asia (Trade Union Leader Muchtar Pakpahan). He later served as international legal counsel to imprisoned Russian environmentalist Aleksandr Nikitin; Nigerian playwright and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka; the Chilean-Canadian group Vérité et justice in the Pinochet case; Chinese-Canadian political prisoner, Professor KunLun Zhang. More recently, he served as Counsel to the leading democracy advocate in the Arab world, Professor Saad Edin Ibrahim; and more recently, as International Legal Council to Shoaib Choudhury, a Muslim Bangladesh journalist presently charged with sedition, treason, and blaspheme for advocating nothing other than inter-faith dialogue and peace with Israel.

A feature article on him in Canada’s national magazine – Maclean’s – magazine referred to him as “Counsel for the Oppressed”.

He has testified as an expert witness on human rights before Parliamentary Committees in Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Israel, and has lectured at major international academic and professional gatherings in America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

A noted peace activist, he has been a leader in the movement for arms control, and helped develop “Peace Law” as an area of both academic inquiry and legal advocacy; as well, Professor Cotler has been engaged –both as scholar and participant observer– in the search for peace in the Middle East. He has lectured in both Arab countries and Israel for over thirty years, and has been an active participant in rapprochement dialogues between Israelis and Palestinians. He was the first Canadian Government Minister to visit the Middle East – promoted a common justice agenda in the region– and secured agreement among the Justice Ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority to participate in the first ever joint Justice Forum.

A leader in the struggle against impunity and the development of international humanitarian law, Professor Cotler served as Counsel to the Deschênes Commission of Inquiry in the matter of bringing Nazi war criminals to justice; filed amicus briefs before the International Criminal Tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; and was leading advocate for the establishment of an International Criminal Court.

A long-time advocate in the international struggle against racism and discrimination of any kind, Professor Cotler was at the forefront of the international struggle against apartheid, as well as the architect of legal remedies against racism in Canada and beyond, both in his capacity as Minister of Justice and formerly as legal counsel for national and international NGOs.

Professor Cotler’s efforts have resulted in his chairing, or being a member of, a number of governmental and citizens’ Commissions of Inquiry –including being Chair of the International Commission of Inquiry into the Fate and Whereabouts of Raoul Wallenberg; Chair of the Commission on Economic Coercion and Discrimination; and member of the Commission of Inquiry on the Crime of Apartheid.


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Since 2010 serves as the Director of the Diane And Guilford Glazer Foundation in Los Angeles. His career in Jewish Communal Service has spanned over 40 years. Previously he served as Executive at the Montreal Jewish Federation and subsequently at the Los Angeles Jewish Federation for over 18 years. He is deeply interested in the relationship between the North American Jewish Communities and Israel.


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Sami Friedrich has guided Shaldor’s development from its founding. With over 30 years of experience in strategic management consulting, Sami is a recognized expert in corporate and business strategy. He pioneered the concept of Operative StrategyTM and developed frameworks and tools for its application. Over the years, Sami has devoted a significant part of his time to public service, as a board member of major non-profit institutions and think-tanks, and through his leadership role in a number of national task forces. Sami holds a B.Sc. in mathematics and physics from the Hebrew University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

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Ralph J. Gerson is the former Board Chairman of Guardian Industries Corp. He now serves as the Treasurer, Investment Committee Chair, and a Director of the William Davidson Foundation. Mr. Gerson is also a private investor.

From 1990 until 2011 Mr. Gerson served as Executive Vice President of Guardian Industries Corp. and President and CEO of Guardian International Corporation. Guardian is one of the largest manufacturers of float and fabricated glass products in the world and a major manufacturer of automotive plastics.

Prior to joining Guardian in 1988, Mr. Gerson was a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. From 1983 to 1985 he served as Director of Commerce and Chairman of the Cabinet Council on Jobs and Economic Development for the State of Michigan.

From 1977 to 1980, Mr. Gerson served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Trade Representative and then Counselor to the President’s Personal Representative to the Middle East Peace Negotiations, during the Autonomy Negotiations.

Mr. Gerson received his J.D. degree in 1975 from the University of Michigan Law School. He also received a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics in 1972 and a B.A. from Yale University in 1971.

Mr. Gerson currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Vice-President of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Secretary of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and an International Board Member of the Weizmann Institute of Science, in addition to other civic and Jewish community positions.

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Born in Bagdad, Iraq, we moved to Israel when I was 10 months old.  Among the difficulties of that period, the basic needs for functioning in school were lacking.  Despite all odds, I managed to be accepted to the Hebrew University.  There I met my husband Larry, who was a 3rd year student in the American program.  At the end of that year, we got married and went to Los Angeles in the US.  There, I completed a BA in Social Work from the University of Southern Calif., an MA in Jewish Communal Work from Hebrew Union College, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

I also completed supervision with Dr. Robert Stolorow for more than 2 decades.  He, being one of the key people in the field of psychoanalysis, founded of Intersubjective Systems Theory.  While in LA, I had a large private practice. Further, I asked Dr. Stolorow to supervise me in understanding political processes from an Intersubjective Systems Theory point of view.

In 1986, we returned to Israel.  I became active in the Labor Party, becoming a psychological advisor in Party functions, particularly for Shimon Peres.  During that period, I was elected as head of the Labor Party branch in Mevasseret Zion, remaining in that position for 13 years.  Also, during that period, I was elected a member of the Mevasseret Zion Municipal Council and later I was Vice Mayor during the last 2 years of my term.

As a psychologist, I have a private practice.  I am a vendor for the Ministry of Defense, for bereaved families, and also for Bituach Leumi for victims of terror attacks.  Recently I was selected to be the psychologist for Jerusalem area UN staff.

My most significant project was a paper I presented at an International Self-Psychology Conference, in San Diego, CA, USA, in 2004, titled, “The Israeli-Palestinian Tragedy:  A proposal for healing a pathological intersubjective system.”

Today, I am married, a mother of 3 and a grandmother of 13 grandchildren.


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Eric S. Goldstein became CEO of UJA-Federation of New York on July 1, 2014.

Previously, Mr. Goldstein was a leading partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, one of the nation’s most respected law firms. He joined the firm in 1983 and became a partner in 1992, representing many of the world’s largest financial institutions and corporations in significant litigations.

Long active in the Jewish community, Mr. Goldstein served in a number of senior lay positions within UJA-Federation, most recently as vice chair with broad oversight of UJA-Federation’s work in Israel and the former Soviet Union. He was also a member of UJA-Federation’s Executive Committee and served as chair of its Lawyers Division, Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal, and Global Strategy Task Force.

Also involved in Jewish communal life beyond UJA-Federation, Mr. Goldstein served as a member of the board of governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel; a founding board member of Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education; chair of the board of Manhattan Day School; a board member of the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), a UJA-Federation beneficiary agency; president of the Beth Din of America; a board member of the Ramaz School; and an honorary board member of DOROT, also a UJA-Federation beneficiary agency.

Mr. Goldstein is a recipient of the 2013 Torch of Learning Award from American Friends of The Hebrew University, was selected by his peers for The Best Lawyers in America in regulatory enforcement and securities litigation, and was named by Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star for New York.

Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Goldstein graduated from Columbia College, magna cum laude, and Cornell Law School, magna cum laude. He was a participant in the Wexner Heritage Program. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Tamar, and their four children.

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Over the past ten years, Alan Hoffmann led the Jewish Agency’s Education Department in its mission is to intensify the unique and multi-dimensional significance of Israel in connecting the next generation of Jews to their heritage, people and homeland.

Since his Aliyah from South Africa in 1967, Alan’s professional life has been dedicated to promoting Jewish Education, initially as the director of The Young Judea Year Course. After three years of doctoral study at the Harvard School of Education, he spent 13 years at the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University, including six years as its director. Subsequently, Alan served as the Executive Director of the Council for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) in New York and in 1997 was named the head of the Mandel Center for Jewish Continuity at the Hebrew University. In February 2000, he became the Director General of the Education Department of the Jewish Agency.

Under Alan Hoffmann’s leadership, the Education Department developed such groundbreaking initiatives as MASA Israel Journey and MAKOM – a think-practice tank focused on re-imagining the place of Israel in Jewish life. He led the department to play a central role in training inspiring educators, developing compelling content, and promoting transformative Israel experiences that together encourage Jewish identity as well as a connection to the Jewish People and to Israel.

As of March 1st Alan became the Director-General and CEO of the Jewish Agency. In this capacity he is the Chief Executive of the Jewish Agency worldwide, but also is leading a new strategic planning process for the Jewish Agency.


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Stephen H. Hoffman, President of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, is a graduate of Dickinson College and received his Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland and a Master’s in Jewish Studies from the Baltimore Hebrew University. He is also a graduate of the Council of Jewish Federation’s Executive Recruitment and Education Program (FEREP).

He began his career at the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland in 1974, and served as director of social planning and research and assistant director, before becoming the CEO in 1983. Stephen serves on the President’s Visiting Committee of Case Western Reserve University. He is a board member of the Musical Arts Association (the Cleveland Orchestra), the Mandel Foundation, the David and Inez Myers Foundation, and the Maltz Foundation. He also has served in a number of leadership positions for United Way Services, and is a past board member of the Greater Cleveland Roundtable, an organization devoted to promoting racial harmony in the city of Cleveland.
Stephen’s impact has been national and international in scope. He is the founding director of the Council for Initiatives in Jewish Education. For three years, 2001-2004, he was “loaned” by Cleveland to serve as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Jewish Communities, the national umbrella organization of the federation movement. In 2004, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the United States delegation to the Conference on Anti-Semitism, held in Berlin, Germany, by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He is Founder and Co-Chair of the Secure Communities Network, a national organization concerned with communal security issues and preparedness. He also serves as interim president of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (Jerusalem), an international policy think tank based in Jerusalem.

Stephen was the 1999 recipient of the Charles Eisenman Award, the Federation’s highest honor. In May of 2002, Stephen was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters from the Baltimore Hebrew University, and in March of 2003, he was the first recipient of the Fuchs Mizrachi School’s Guardian of Zion Award in Cleveland, Ohio. Stephen and his wife Dr. Amy Hoffman have two children – Emily of Cleveland (married to Eric Weingart) and Jessica of Chicago.


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Bernard-Henri Lévy is dedicated to all struggles for human dignity. He upholds the tradition established by André Malraux, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus of the writer committed to action as well as ideas.

He has ceaselessly devoted his talent, energy, and courage to the causes he felt to be just: from his first reports in Bangladesh for the daily newspaper Combat, founded by Albert Camus, to his investigation of Daniel Pearl’s death in Pakistan, to his several journeys to a Sarajevo surrounded by Serbian militias, and forays into the “forgotten wars” of Africa and elsewhere.

Graduate of the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure with a degree in philosophy, a writer, novelist, journalist, agitator of ideas, filmmaker, founder of the quarterly La Règle du Jeu, and an editorialist for Le Point, where he writes a weekly column on politics, arts and culture, Bernard-Henri Lévy (known as BHL) is on a permanent crusade.
There is, however, an overarching preoccupation throughout his work: the idea of Evil.
For BHL, the 20th century was the century of Evil: fascism, totalitarianism, terrorism, as well as fundamentalism, are the successive forms that this Evil has taken and continues to take at the beginning of this 21st century.

BHL is a philosopher who variously charms and irritates. He is reproached as being a provocateur for the vehemence and courage with which he defends his opinions.
He is accused of being media-hungry for having always thought it best to address, via television, the widest possible audience.

One may love or hate BHL, but it is impossible to remain indifferent. His impassioned eloquence, the lyricism of his prose, his spirited and fiery defense of the most hopeless causes, and his humanist and activist views have made him an easy target of criticism, but they have also inspired the most intense admiration in France and around the world.

Among contemporary French writers and intellectuals, he is the “beacon burning on a thousand citadels”, ever ready to become impassioned. The definition that Sartre gave to his own work could be equally applied to Bernard-Henri Lévy: “What I sought were events that must be written about in a literary way and which, at the same time, carried philosophic meaning.”


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Glen Lewy is a Senior Managing Director of Hudson Ventures, a technology-focused venture capital fund based in New York. Prior to joining Hudson in 2000, Glen spent 25 years as an adviser to some of the world’s largest and most prestigious corporations, having distinguished himself as both a lawyer and investment banker. He was a senior partner and member of the Management Committee of Wolfensohn & Co., a member of the Management Committee of Bankers Trust Company, and a partner in the New York law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton.

Glen is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and sits on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of The New York Historical Society. He is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SEED Foundation. Glen is also a Board member of several technology-related companies in which Hudson is an investor.

Glen recently completed a three year term as the National Chairman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). He has been involved in the ADL since the 1970s and continues to be a member of the National Commission and the National Executive Committee, on which he has served for more than 20 years.

Glen holds a B.A. degree from Amherst College and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Glen resides in Mamaroneck, New York with his wife, Cheryl (the Chair of the Westchester County Planning Commission). They have three grown children.


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Judith Bokser Liwerant is a full professor of political science at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), where she is the director of the Graduate School of Political and Social Sciences. She also heads the Academic Committee of the Universidad Hebraica. Her B.A. and Master studies in sociology and political science were at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and she holds a Ph.D. in political science from the UNAM.
She is a member of the Mexican Academy of Science and was the recipient of a National Annual Research Grant of the National Council of Science and Technology. She is the associate director of the Mexican Journal of Political and Social Science.
She has published numerous books as author and editor and many scientific articles and chapters in the field of political theory, collective identities and contemporary Latin American Jewry.
Prof. Bokser Liwerant was a member of the National Commission Against Discrimination, where she collaborated in the enactment of the Federal Law against Discrimination, condemning antisemitism. In 2002 she was appointed a member of the Human Rights Council.

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Isaac Molho is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (LLB, 1969). Having spent a period in the early 1970’s as a foreign associate at the prestigious New York law firm of Proskauer Rose, Adv. Molho then returned to Israel to become a name partner in the firm E. S. Shimron, I. Molho, Persky & Co. Shortly thereafter, in 1978, he was appointed the firm’s managing partner, in which capacity he has served ever since.

Adv. Molho specializes in business and corporate law; he also practices in the fields of telecommunications, entertainment and in intellectual property, where he handled the major precedent-setting litigation concerning copyright in the Dead Sea Scrolls. His clients range from large corporations and institutions to individual businessmen and from foreign governments to public bodies.

In addition to having authored a range of academic articles on diverse legal subjects (such as securities law, computer law and telecommunications law), Adv. Molho serves in various public capacities, including Honorary Consul General of Austria in Jerusalem, Chairman of the Board of the Israel Museum, and is a founding member of the Board of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute since its inception.

During Benjamin Netanyahu’s first period as Prime Minister (1996-1999), Adv. Molho – acting on a voluntary basis – fulfilled various special assignments on behalf of the Prime Minister at his personal request. These included acting as the Prime Minister’s personal envoy and as chief negotiator on behalf of the Government of Israel to the leadership of the Palestinian Authority and its former Chairman, Yassir Arafat.

The Israeli Bar (Tel Aviv District) magazine named Adv. Molho “Lawyer of the Year”, for 2008.

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Lonnie Nasatir is only the fifth person in the 121-year history of Chicago’s Jewish Federation to serve at its helm as President and Chief Executive.

Lonnie brings an exceptional track record as a community leader and senior-level experience at both the Anti-Defamation League and at a major government agency.

Serving as the Anti-Defamation League’s Regional Director of the Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest area from 2005-2019, Nasatir led initiatives to fight anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry. As ADL Regional Director, Nasatir oversaw the six-state Upper Midwest region and was charged with leading the implementation of ADL’s strategic plan among its 26 regional offices. Notably, Nasatir more than doubled the local campaign from $2.6 million to $5.8 million.

A hallmark of Lonnie’s leadership has been his focus on engaging the next generation and his commitment to promoting institutional diversity. Nasatir exponentially increased the representation of next generation young leadership on the Board of the ADL Midwest region, as well as worked closely with the first two female Board Chairs in the organization’s history.

Lonnie’s legacy at the ADL includes establishing the organization as the lead voice on issues of anti-Semitism, Israel and fighting hate in the Midwest. He also championed multiple legislative initiatives to enhance hate crime statutes at both the state and federal level.

Prior to his tenure at ADL, Nasatir served as Administrator for the Illinois Department of Public Aid (now the Department of Healthcare and Family Services), Division of Child Support Enforcement, where he managed a budget of $225 million and led a division of over 1,000 staff to record-high collection and performance numbers. A powerful advocate for children and families, Nasatir worked with the Federal Government, Illinois General Assembly and state agencies in drafting legislation which benefitted the most vulnerable.

Lonnie began his career as a prosecutor for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where he quickly became a lead attorney and a supervisor.

He serves as a member of the Cook County Hate Crime Prosecution Council and was a past member of the Board of Directors at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. The recipient of ADL’s Professional Excellence Award and the Cook County SAO Leadership Award, Nasatir was named Man of the Year by the Shomrim Society, the fraternal organization of Jewish law enforcement officers, in 2016. Lonnie is often quoted in local and national news outlets and is deemed an expert on issues related to anti-Semitism, extremism and bigotry in this country and the world.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nasatir received his law degree from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.

He and his wife, Risa, live in Lakeview with their two daughters. They are members of Am Yisrael Congregation in Northfield.


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Dr. Steven B. Nasatir, President of the Jewish United Fund/ Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, is a recognized authority in the area of social and human services and a distinguished Jewish communal leader. He has traveled throughout the world in his commitment to the cause of Jewish and human survival. A frequent visitor to Israel, Dr. Nasatir has also visited other countries in the Middle East, Latin America, Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union and other countries in Eastern Europe where the welfare of the Jewish community is at risk.

A former academician, Dr. Nasatir is the fourth person in the 111-year history of Chicago’s Jewish Federation to serve as its chief executive officer having been appointed to that position in 1979. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois; holds an M.A. degree from Roosevelt University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He has served on the faculty of the University of Illinois in Chicago and has been a Visiting Professor at other institutions of higher education. He joined the staff of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago in 1971. He has served on city and state commissions and task forces, has served on the Board of First Trust Nonprofit Companies, and was an elected member of the Board of Directors of United Way/Crusade of Mercy, Inc. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute in Jerusalem, the Board of the Michael Reese Health Trust, the Covenant Foundation, a number of Family Foundation Boards of Directors. He is an Associate Member of the Board of Governors and delegate to the Assembly of the Jewish Agency for Israel, and a very active participant and consultant to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). In November, 1986 the Mayor of the City of Chicago presented him with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Annual Award; he was selected as the 1991 Distinguished Service Honoree by the Association of Jewish Community Organization Personnel (AJCOP); and in 2002 received the Franklin Roosevelt Humanitarian Award from Roosevelt University

A native Chicagoan, Dr. Nasatir is a member of Am Yisrael Congregation, has five sons, and is married to Carolyn Rosenberg, who is an attorney and a partner at Reed Smith Sachnoff & Weaver in Chicago.


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Jehuda Reinharz returned to the directorship of the Tauber Institute in 2011, after serving as president of Brandeis University between 1994 and 2010. He continues to serve as general editor of the Tauber Institute publication series and as Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History. In January 2011 he became president of the Mandel Foundation. Reinharz has authored and co-authored many articles and books, including, most recently, Glorious, Accursed Europe, Darwin and His Circle, and The Scientific God: Popular Science in Hebrew in Eastern Europe in the Second Half of the 19th Century (all three written with Yaacov Shavit). His forthcoming books include the third and final volume of his biography of Chaim Weizmann, as well as a book entitled The Road to September 1939: The Yishuv, the Jews of Poland and the Zionist Movement.

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Zalman Shoval is an Israeli banker, politician and diplomat. He is also active in Israel’s economic life. He was the Israeli ambassador to the United States in the years 1990–1993 and 1998–2000, and an active member of the Knesset in the Rafi-State List, and the Likud party.


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Dr. Jeffrey R. Solomon is Senior Advisor to Chasbro Investments, the family office of Charles Bronfman. For two decades, he was the President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, a group of foundations operating in Canada, Israel and the United States. He currently sits on the Boards of the the Jim Joseph Foundation (where he serves as secretary), the KIND and Lubetzky Family Foundations and the Israel Policy Forum. He served as the Chair of Leading Edge, an organization aimed at talent acquisition and retention in the Jewish community and serves as Co-Chair of the Peaceworks Foundation. His books (co-authored with Charles Bronfman), The Art of Giving and The Art of Doing Good, have won awards and recognition throughout the philanthropic world. He is also the author of over 120 publications in both professional journals and outlets such as The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal. He served as an adjunct associate professor in the masters and doctorate programs of New York University School of Social Work.


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Michael H. Steinhardt is a legendary money manager turned philanthropist who is dedicated to creating a renaissance in American Jewish life. After he graduated from the Wharton School of Business in 1960, Mr. Steinhardt began his financial career as a research associate, staff writer and securities analyst. In 1967 he formed his own hedge fund company, Steinhardt Partners L.P., where he made his fortune in one of the most spectacular careers in the history of Wall Street. Mr. Steinhardt has always believed that wealth and financial achievement alone are not sufficient to give full value and meaning to life. At the same time, he has felt growing alarm over the erosion of Jewish life in the Diaspora. In 1995, Michael Steinhardt stunned the financial world by announcing that he would close his lucrative hedge fund to devote his time and fortune to the causes of the Jewish world. Mr. Steinhardt directs his Jewish philanthropic activities through The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and The Judy & Michael Steinhardt Family Foundation in Israel which he chairs.

Mr. Steinhardt was the co-founder of Birthright Israel, Birthright Excel and continues to be a major supporter to this day.

Mr. Steinhardt also serves as Co-Chair of the Areivim Philanthropic Group. In addition, Mr. Steinhardt supports The Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative, New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, and the Israel Museum. In 2001, Mr. Steinhardt published his memoirs, No Bull: My Life In and Out of the Markets (John Wiley & Sons, 2001). He and his wife, Judy, are the proud parents of David, Daniel and Sara, and the grandparents of Jacob, Joshua, Kira, Talia, Nathaniel, Theodore, Lila, Aetien, Infinity and Ben Zion.

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Marc is the Managing Partner of Clarion Capital Partners, LLC, an asset management firm in New York City specializing in growth oriented Private Equity. Prior to launching Clarion, from 1993 to 1999, Marc was a Managing Director at Wasserstein Perella & Co., where he served as Co-Head of the Media, Telecommunications, Entertainment, and Technology Group, the Leveraged Finance Group, and the Retail Group. He was also a member of the firm’s Policy Committee. During this period, he led investments in Imax Corporation and All-Clad Holdings, Inc. From 1991 until 1993, he was a Managing Director at BT Securities, in the firm’s High Yield and Mergers and Acquisitions groups. From 1990 to 1991, he was the Managing Partner of Kent Capital Partners, a principal investment firm with limited advisory business. From 1983 to 1990, he was a Partner at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., in the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions department. From 1981 to 1983, he was a Financial Associate in the Beverage Division of the General Foods Corporation. Marc graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in 1980 and an MBA in 1981.

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Mark Wilf is the chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America. He has previously served as UJC National Campaign Chair, UJA National Young Leadership Cabinet Chair, and as President of the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey. Most recently Mr. Wilf has chaired JFNA’s national initiative that addresses the needs of impoverished Holocaust survivors living in the United States.

Mr. Wilf, an attorney and partner in Garden Homes, a real estate development firm is also owner/president of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. He graduated from Princeton University and then received his law degree from NYU School of Law.

Mr. Wilf has long been involved in efforts locally, nationally, and globally, to ensure the welfare and vitality of the Jewish community. As the son of Holocaust survivors, Elizabeth Wilf and Joseph Wilf, z”l, he has drawn upon his parents’ experiences to become an unwavering advocate for needs of the Jewish people, wherever they may be. The Wilf family, a major and longtime supporter of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, is the largest contributor to its world-renowned Holocaust History Museum. The Wilfs are also key sustained benefactors of Yeshiva University in New York. In 2002, the family made a substantial donation to enhance the main campus, renamed as the Wilf Campus of Yeshiva University.

He serves on a variety of educational and philanthropic boards, including the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, American Society for Yad Vashem, NYU School of Law, Princeton University President’s Advisory Council, Yeshiva University, Vanderbilt University, and NFL Business Ventures.

Mark and his wife Jane have four children Steven, Daniel, Rachel and Andrew.


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