UJC Officially Taps Silverman…Finally

The UJC finally announced what has been a given for a long time – Jerry Silverman’s appointment as the next CEO. Kol HaKavod to Jerry. Now let’s hope, that in his new position, he can move along the decision making process. Otherwise, like General Motors, the UJC will be providing product the marketplace is no longer interested in.

Here’s an excerpt from the official announcement:

UJC/Jewish Federations of North America reported today that Jerry Silverman will join the organization as president and CEO. UJC/Jewish Federations represents 157 Jewish Federations and 400 network communities, which raise and distribute more than $3 billion annually for social welfare, social services and educational needs. The Federation movement, collectively among the top 10 charities on the continent, protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning).

Silverman is a highly experienced leader in the North American Jewish community and longtime corporate executive. As CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Camp since 2004, Silverman has been extremely successful in building the quality, availability and demand for Jewish summer camps by creating partnerships with key philanthropists and federations, increasing scholarships for campers, and providing leadership development opportunities for camp directors. Silverman came to the Foundation after highly successful careers at the Stride Rite Corp. and Levi Strauss & Co.

Over a span of almost 25 years, Jerry Silverman served in various executive leadership capacities at Levi Strauss and Stride Rite. He worked on many successful consumer brands, including Levi’s, Dockers, Stride Rite Children’s, and Keds. Before becoming the President of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, Jerry’s most recent position was President of the Keds Corporation. He has run both wholesale and retail operations and was noted for his leadership, outstanding work ethic, and ability to build strong teams.

The search for a new CEO began one year ago, when current President and CEO Howard Rieger announced he would be stepping down after completing his five-year term this August.

The committee unanimously recommended Jerry Silverman for the new President and CEO of UJC/Jewish Federations of North America. The committee selected Silverman in part because of his passion for Jewish future, his commitment to continuous learning and growth, and his focus on customer centricity. These are critical qualities for leading the Federation system effectively, Manning said.

At the Foundation for Jewish Camp, Silverman led the only national organization dedicated to non-profit Jewish resident camps responsible for raising awareness and building support for Jewish summer camps. As head of the Jewish camping umbrella organization, Silverman, together with the Board and staff, developed a new strategic plan with a clear mission and focused strategies that would add significant value to Jewish camps across North America. The plan focused on motivating consumers and funders, including partnership with Federations to provide incentives to campers, such as matching grants that also helped Federations drive new initiatives.

Silverman will officially begin his five-year term at UJC/Jewish Federations of North America on September 30th.