Claims Conference chief to become No. 2 at JDC

NEW YORK (JTA) — Gideon Taylor is leaving his post at the helm of the Claims Conference to become the No. 2 at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Taylor had served as the JDC’s assistant executive director dealing with restitution before leaving for the Claims Conference 10 years ago to become its executive vice president. In July, Taylor will return to his old organization to occupy a newly created position, associate executive vice president, where Taylor will help implement JDC’s strategic visioning plan, a JDC spokesman told JTA.

JDC-established aid groups in the former Soviet Union called Heseds are one of the Claims Conference’s primary beneficiaries, receiving some $60 million per year to provide food and social services to Holocaust victims who live in the region.

The Claims Conference has negotiated some $60 billion in compensation and restitution payments from the German government since 1952. It also has sent some $5 billion in direct compensation to survivors and another billion dollars in allocations to organizations that help survivors and promote Holocaust education.

“Mr. Taylor has been an outstanding executive, championing the needs of Holocaust survivors in negotiations, pursuing claims for restitution, and successfully managing a large-scale operation to ensure that assistance reaches survivors around the world,” the Claims Conference’s chairman, Julius Berman, said in a news release. “During the decade of his professional leadership, the Claims Conference has achieved many great successes including the establishment of the Slave Labor Program, which distributed over $1.5 billion; liberalization and expansion of pension programs to include tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors; and restitution of hundreds of millions of dollars in victims’ assets.”

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