The American Jewish Committee has announced that Ira Silver-man, its executive vice president, has stepped down after a year of battling health problems.
“The American Jewish Committee is an organization struggling for its health, and I’m a person struggling for mine. That partnership isn’t as strong as what’s needed,” Silverman said in a telephone interview.
Silverman was referring to financial cutbacks and extensive restructuring which AJCommittee has undergone during the past year, problems which have been affected by instability in the organization’s professional leadership.
Silverman’s resignation represents the sixth time in the past decade that AJCommittee has had to search for a new executive vice president.
Sholom Comay, president of the AJCommittee, said that the organization hoped to replace Silverman “as quickly as is humanly possible.” He said that it was hoped that a new executive vice president would be in place by early September.
“We hope to find a new professional leader who will exemplify the same qualities of vision, competence and leadership that Ira Silverman has given to the American Jewish Committee,” Comay said.
Silverman, who took the helm at AJCommittee in June 1988, has suffered from digestive ailments since last summer. In December, associate executive vice president Shula Bahat officially stepped into Silverman’s shoes as acting executive vice president.
“We all had hoped and Ira had hoped that he would recover fully,” said Comay. “But that didn’t happen.”
Comay said that Silverman would remain affiliated with AJCommittee as head of the organization’s Institute for Human Relations.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.