Hannah Rosenthal, currently the State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, will become the CEO and president of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation this fall.
Brian Lurie was announced as the New Israel Fund’s incoming board chair. Lurie served for 17 years as executive director of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, and was executive vice president of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA). He also was the founding co-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues. Lurie succeeds Naomi Chazan, a former member of the Israeli Knesset.
Dr. Andrew Rehfeld was appointed as the new CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. Rehfeld, 46, holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago. He has been on the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis since 2001, and is currently an associate professor of political science and professor of law. Rehfeld succeeds Barry Rosenberg, 61, who has held the position for 19 years and will assist in the transition.
Richard Fruchter resigned his post as president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. Fruchter will wrap up his six-year tenure on Sept. 30 and will assist with organizational and transition issues.
The National Council of Young Israel announced that Rabbi Pesach Lerner will not return as executive vice president following a six-month working sabbatical. Lerner, who held the post for some 20 years, will take the title executive vice president, emeritus, and will serve as an adviser to the organization.
The Department of Homeland Security announced $10 million in federal funds at the end of June, through its Nonprofit Security Grant Program, with 97 percent of the funds awarded to Jewish institutions. The grants are intended to bolster the security of nonprofit institutions deemed by the Department of Homeland Security to be vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
The New Israel Fund’s board of directors approved $1,570,500 in grants to 73 organizations. The grants will go to established and grass-roots organizations working for social equality, battling religious extremism and supporting Israel’s pro-democracy camp. Additional funding was set aside to bolster NIF’s emergency grant pool, which funds coalitions, protests and other actions in response to situations developing on the ground.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) received $1 million in grants from the Jim Joseph and Leichtag Foundations in June to expand its educational and global service opportunities for West Coast Jews in their 20s and 30s. The programming will be coordinated through JDC’s Entwine initiative for young Jewish leaders.
World ORT announced at its General Assembly in June the creation of the Anieres II Engineering/Technology Scholarship Program, a $35 million project that will provide a special residential education program in Israel for at least 500 teenagers from low socio-economic backgrounds. An anonymous $15 million donation from a current ORT America donor who was a graduate of the original Anieres Institute, which was founded in Geneva in 1949, will be bundled with an $18 million contribution by the government of Israel in addition to $2 million paid through student tuitions. The first of 10 annual cohorts of up to 60 students, many expected to be from overseas, will be recruited beginning in December to begin studying in September 2013.
The Genesis Philanthropy Group will fund a $1 million prize. The Genesis Prize will be awarded to Jews who win global recognition for their professional achievements, including in science and the arts. Israel’s prime minister will award the prize at an annual ceremony to be held near Passover. The Genesis group is comprised of several oligarchs from the former Soviet Union who are committed to building the Russian-speaking Jewish Diaspora.
Lee Abramovich of Israel’s Channel 2 News received the B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage on June 24. The award, given in memory of Wolf and Hilda Matsdorf, cited Abramovitch for her July 2011 report titled “American Jewry makes living kidney donations to Israeli patients.” Also receiving B’nai B’rith awards and citations for journalism were Diaa Hadid for her June 2011 article about the ruins of the Dar al-Bishi synagogue in Tripoli that she visited during the revolution in Libya, and Jana Beris (Jerozolimski), editor of the Uruguayan Jewish weekly newspaper Semanario Hebreo, for her March 2011 interview with Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee announced on June 18 that historians Mary Fraser Kirsh and Susan Gilson Miller have been named the first Fred and Ellen Lewis JDC Archives Fellows. Designed for scholars engaged in graduate level, post-doctoral or independent study, the fellowship is for research in the JDC Archives facilities in New York or Jerusalem. Kirsh, who holds a doctorate in the field of Modern European History, will use fellowship to research the mental health and development of child survivors of World War II, from the perspective of the care-givers. Miller, a professor of history at the University of California, Davis, and a leading scholar in Moroccan history, will use the fellowship toward her work on the Holocaust in North Africa, with a focus on rescue operations across Morocco and Western Algeria during the 1940s. Miller also has a doctorate.