The Team / Members of the Board
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Elliott Abrams is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. He served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser in the administration of President George W. Bush, where he supervised U.S. policy in the Middle East for the White House.
Mr. Abrams joined the Bush administration in June 2001 as special assistant to the president and senior director of the NSC for democracy, human rights, and international organizations. From December 2002 to February 2005, he served as special assistant to the president and senior director of the National Security Council for Near East and North African affairs. He served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy from February 2005 to January 2009, and in that capacity supervised both the Near East and North African Affairs and the Democracy, Human rights, and International organizations directorates of the NSC.
Mr. Abrams was president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., from 1996 until joining the White House staff. He was a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom from 1999 to 2001 and chairman of the commission in the latter year, and in 2012 was reappointed to membership for another term. Mr. Abrams is also a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, which directs the activities of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He teaches U.S. foreign policy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Earlier in his carrer, Mr. Abrams spent four years working for the United States Senate: as Assistant Counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in 1975; as Special Counsel to Senator Henry M. Jackson in 1975-1976; and as Special Counsel and then Chief of Staff to Senator Daniel P. Moynihan from January 1977 to June 1979. Mr. Abrams served in the State Department during all eight years of the Reagan Administration. In January 1981, Mr. Abrams became Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs. In this capacity he supervised United States participation in the United Nations System. In December 1981, he was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. In July 1985, Mr. Abrams was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, where he supervised US policy in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1988, Mr. Abrams received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award from Secretary George P. Shultz for his work in the Department.
Mr. Abrams was educated at Harvard College, the London School of Economics, and Harvard Law School. His articles and book reviews have appeared in Commentary, the Weekly Standard, The National Interest, The Public Interest, and National Review. He is the author of four books, Undue Process (1993), Security and Sacrifice (1995), Faith or Fear: How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America (1997), and the recently released Tested by Zion: the Bush Administration and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2013); and the editor of three more, Close Calls: Intervention, Terrorism, Missile Defense and “Just War” Today; Honor Among Nations: Intangible Interests and Foreign Policy; and The Influence of Faith: Religion and American Foreign Policy. He appears regularly on CNN, Fox, and other major television news networks.
Mr. Abrams was born in New York City. He and his wife Rachel live in Virginia. They have three children.
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Her Jewish activism and involvement in the local Keren Hayesod campaign started in 1985 when she was only 16. Four years later, she founded Rome’s Young Leadership group. In 1999, following in her father’s footsteps, she became Chairman of Keren Hayesod Rome, and in 2005, was appointed a member of the KH Campaign Cabinet.
In 2007, she was elected to the Jewish Agency Board of Governors and was chosen chair of its Board Development Committee. Currently a member of the JAFI Executive, she also chairs the Marketing and Communications Committee and is Deputy Chair of the FRD committee.
Ms. Arbib visits Keren Hayesod campaigns around the world, bringing a message of unity and strength, and stresses the mutual responsibility of the Jewish people. She often addresses Keren Hayesod fund raising events with international leaders such as Bill Clinton, Jose Maria Aznar, and Bernard Henri Levy.
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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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.
Dr. Galperin, a clinical psychologist by training, has over thirty years experience in leadership, management, financial resource development, operations, marketing, consulting and oversight for and of non-profit organizations including Jewish Federations, social and mental health service agencies, community centers, educational institutions, foundations and individual philanthropists.
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.
Dan Halperin is Managing Director of IFTIC LTD, a consulting firm he formed together with Major General (ret) Menachem Meron, which deals in advising Israeli and American companies on how to expand mutual activities.
Halperin also serves on the board of various Israeli firms and organizations, such as Academon, Edmond de Rothschild Portfolio Management (Israel) and Hadas Arazim. He is the chairman of the Israel Festival Jerusalem and Chairman of the Jerusalem Institute of Israel Studies.
Previously, he served as counselor for economic affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, as deputy director-general of the Finance Ministry, in charge of international affairs and generally headed Israel’s efforts against the Arab boycott of the 1970’s. Halperin also served as a political and economic commentator on Israel Radio and as spokesman of the Finance Ministry.
Halperin lives in Jerusalem. He is a proud husband, father of five and grandfather of twelve.
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.
(עברית) מנכ”ל הסוכנות היהודית
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gerrald (Jerry) Silverman is president and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America. He is a highly experienced leader in the North American Jewish community and longtime corporate executive, with over 25 years of experience.
Before joining The Jewish Federations, Jerry served as president of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, the only non-profit national organization dedicated to raising awareness and support of non-profit Jewish resident camps. Since starting there in 2004 the FJC team oversaw a major expansion of the organization that helped bring a new focus on Jewish camping as a path to enhance Jewish identity. The FJC was extremely successful in building the quality, availability and demand for Jewish summer camps, creating partnerships with key philanthropists and Jewish Federations, increasing incentive dollars for campers, and providing leadership development opportunities for camp directors. Jerry, along with his board and staff, put Jewish camps on the communal map and helped turn the Foundation for Jewish Camp into more visible and successful organization.
For a decade before that, Jerry held a range of executive positions at the Stride Rite Corp. of Boston, including president of its international division; president, Stride Rite Children’s Group, and president, Keds Corp. Between 1979 and 1994 Jerry held several senior executive positions at Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco, starting as a production manager in women’s wear, moving into financial planning, working as an account executive and sales representative, then as a regional district national account manager and national sales manager of Levi Dockers.
Over the years, Jerry has been on the boards of a range of Jewish organizations, as well.
Jerry is married to Erica Silverman and is the father of five children ranging in age from 16-25. Two children attend Gann Academy – The New Jewish High School; one is studying at the University of Maryland; one is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, now living in New York City, and Jerry’s eldest, also living in New York City, is a graduate of the joint program at the Jewish Theological Seminary (List College) and Columbia University.
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.