Eric Fingerhut leaving Hillel, moving to JFNA

Eric Fingerhut. Photo by David Holzel

Hillel International announced today that its president and CEO, Eric D. Fingerhut, is leaving the Jewish student organization at the end of June to take over as president of the Jewish Federations of North America. Hillel’s current COO Adam Lehman will become interim CEO, and Hillel said it was launching a national search for Fingerhut’s successor.

“We are proud of Eric’s accomplishments and believe his appointment to lead JFNA is a testament to his success over the last five years at Hillel,” said Tina Price, chair of the Hillel International board of directors. “During his time with Hillel, Eric guided us through an ambitious strategic plan, focused on building the best talent in the Jewish world, and measuring our engagement to ensure excellence on every campus. We are excited to continue partnering with him in his new role.”

Founded in 1923, Hillel International is a global organization that “engages student leaders on 550 colleges and universities in 18 countries around the world,” according to the organization.

“We look forward to exploring candidates to lead Hillel into its second century,” Price said. “This is an incredible opportunity to build on Hillel’s achievements, and I’m confident we’re well positioned for success.”

JFNA announced its new leadership in a Facebook statement on Thursday afternoon.

“For more than half a decade, the Jewish world has watched as Eric spearheaded transformational change at Hillel,” said chair of the JFNA board of trustees Mark Wilf in the statement. “With a clear vision for the future of Jewish life on college campuses and universities, he took a 90-year-old organization and made it new again. We believe he can bring the same energy and imagination to Federation. He’s the right leader at the right time.”

Richard Sandler, chair of the JFNA CEO search committee and immediate past board chair of JFNA, said in the statement, “We were certain that someone with the intellect and stamina to serve in the Ohio State Legislature, in the U.S. Congress, as chancellor of Ohio’s preeminent higher educational system and as president and CEO of our community’s most important campus organization is well positioned to lead JFNA.”

According to the JFNA statement, the organization “represents 147 Jewish Federations and over 300 Network communities, raising and distributing more than $2 billion annually and through planned giving and endowment programs In support of social welfare, social services and educational needs, JFNA protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide, and leads in the fields of caregiving, aging, philanthropy, disability, foreign policy, homeland security and health care.”

Fingerhut is slated to begin his tenure at JFNA on August 6, 2019.

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