SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) Tom Dine, head of the San Francisco-area Jewish federation, is stepping down after just 20 months on the job. “I don’t think it was a good fit,” said Dine, whose resignation as chief executive officer will take effect June 30. “You know it when you see it.” Only last November, Dine told j. he planned to be in the Bay Area “for the long haul.” That came on the heels of a successful 2005-06 annual campaign, during which donations to the federation increased 7 percent to $24.6 million just shy of Dine’s stated goal of a 10 percent increase.Dine, former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and head of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, plans to return to Washington, which he called his “home base.” “That’s my natural habitat,” he said. “I have a daughter there, one grandchild and another on the way. I want to return to the political world.” Meanwhile, Dine said he intends to “complete my job here, trying to strengthen the Jewish condition and community.”John Pritzker, president of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, said he was “sorry to see Tom go.” “But we’ve done great work getting the place on solid footing,” he said. “This is as solid a management group as the federation has ever had.” Strategic initiatives and the annual campaign will continue uninterrupted. Dine took the federation reins in the summer of 2005, after an eight-year run at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Before that he was the longtime executive director of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby. While Dine’s 20-month tenure may seem brief, Pritzker said such changes are not uncommon in large agencies. “In any lay-driven organization you have a spectrum of operational experiences,” Pritzker said. “These things happen.” Among his proudest accomplishments, Dine cited assembling a new federation senior management team, which he described as “creative and strong.”Second, he said, “we have serious structural reforms under way controlling our budgets and strategic funding initiative. And [we have] our newest outreach program with the synagogues.” His greatest disappointment? “What’s missing here is an extensive outreach effort to find and persuade and bring Jews within the community-building process. That takes time.”
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