Comings & Goings: New Hadassah College president, Hawaii rabbi ousted, Limmud exec leaving



Bertold Fridlender, chairman of the biotechnology program at Hadassah College Jerusalem and a visiting professor at Rutgers University, is the new president of Hadassah College Jerusalem. Fridlender earned his doctorate in medical microbiology and immunology from UCLA. He has managed numerous small businesses in the field of biotechnology.

Gordon Hecker was named president and CEO of the Columbus, Ohio, Jewish Federation. Hecker was the senior VP of corporate marketing at Nationwide and Jewish Federations of North America executive board member. He replaces Marsha Hurwitz, who is leaving to become the COO of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco.

Roberta Lee has joined the UJA-Federation of New York as director of public relations. Lee, the former director of PR for WNET public television in New York, replaces Samantha Kessler.

Estee Goldschmidt has been appointed to a new position at the Orthodox Union — director of advocacy training. Goldschmidt, the former director of marketing and special projects at Russian Television International, at the OU will develop and deliver political training seminars for communal tuition affordability advocacy and support for Israel, among other issues.

The JCC Association added three management-level staff. Susan Bender will serve as senior vice president of financial resource development portfolio; Alison Pepper joins the organization as assistant vice president of early childhood education and family engagement; and Jerry Wische will take over as chief operating officer and director of the Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership and Management.

Sheryl Abbey has been hired as the new editorial director for the Toby Press publishing house. Abbey previously served as marketing director for the company and for Koren, where she was responsible for Yehuda Avner’s "The Prime Ministers," the Koren Sacks Siddur and other books.


Robert Aronson is stepping down as president of the Birthright Israel Foundation, the fundraising arm of Birthright Israel in North America. Aronson, who held the title since December 2008, will advise his successor, David Fisher, who was appointed in late July. Fisher previously served as the Jewish Federations of North America’s national campaign chair and spearheaded the $45 million effort to build a new Jewish Federation/Jewish Community Center building in his hometown of Cincinnati.

Don Sylvan will step down as president and CEO of JESNA after seven years at the helm of the Jewish education consulting organization. The staff will be managed by Jon Woocher, Leora Isaacs and CFO Ralia Wagner. Sylvan will stay on board as a senior adviser.

Hawaii’s largest synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, has a new board, which means the opposite of aloha for Rabbi Peter Schaktman, the Reform congregation’s rabbi of seven years. Following a heated election campaign, new board president, Cliff Halevi, has pledged to find a new rabbi for the community, which has lost 60 of its 230 member families in the last year.

Raymond Simonson, Limmud’s first full time executive director, has resigned after six years to take over as CEO designate of the Jewish Community Center of London. He will stay on until mid-October to help in the search for his successor.

Michael Bennett is transitioning out of his role as publisher and editor of the Cleveland Jewish News. The Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, which owns the weekly periodical, will search for a successor for when Bennett leaves on Sept. 28.

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