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Spitzer New B’nai B’rith President

In the closest and most hotly contested presidential election in B’nai B’rith history, Jack J. Spitzer of Seattle, Washington defeated Herbert D. Setlow of New Haven, Connecticut in a run-off vote Wednesday. Before any tally could be given, Setlow moved that the election be made unanimous. The election took place at the B’nai B’rith biennial convention here this week. Spitzer succeeds David M. Blumbera who retired after seven years and three terms at the helm of the largest Jewish service organization.

The first round of the election battle Tuesday found Spitzer, Setlow and Murray Shusterman of Philadelphia separated by 29 ballots of 1046 cast by the convention delegates. Setlow received 364 votes, Spitzer 347 and Shusterman 335. Both losers pledged their continued commitment to B’nai B’rith in whatever capacities Spitzer chose.

Spitzer, a banker by profession, has been involved in B’nai B’rith activities for more than 40 years. He was first associated with B’nai B’rith in its youth organization, serving as international president of Aleph Zodik Aleph, the boys’ component, in 1938-39. He has been a member of the international board of governors of B’nai B’rith for many years. For the last several years he has also been chairman of B’nai B’rith’s fund-raising cabinet.

Spitzer is also a member of the board of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, the American Joint Distribution Committee and the executive committee of the Baltimore Institute of Jewish Communal Service. He was a board member of the Jewish Federation-Council of Greater Los Angeles.

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