After nearly eight years as associate executive vice president of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ, Arthur Sandman will take his broad portfolio and fiscal expertise to a reorganized Jewish Agency for Israel.
As of Aug. 2, he will become executive vice president of JAFI’s external affairs and financial resources development, giving him primary responsibility for the agency’s operations in North America.
He will report to Misha Galperin, director of JAFI’s new Global Public Affairs and Financial Resource Development Department in New York.
Their hiring is part of an agency makeover being instituted by JAFI chair, and former refusenik, Natan Sharansky.
“Over the last number of years the overseas funding provided by the North American Jewish federation movement has been in decline, and the Jewish Agency has seen its funding from the American-Jewish community decreasing,” Sandman told NJ Jewish News.
“That’s something that took place before the economic crisis and clearly is exacerbated by the economic crisis. So the whole operation of the Jewish Agency with regard to external relations and financial resource development is being revamped.”
Sandman’s experience will aid his role as a liaison between JAFI and the federations, the agency’s primary source of North American funding. Before coming to MetroWest, where he has overseen budgeting and allocations since September 2002, he was executive director of management and budget at UJA Federation of New York.
“Here my primary focus is how we spend the dollars that donors give us,” said Sandman. “In my new role, the focus is much more going to be on finding the financial resources, doing the fund-raising. I have some fund-raising in my background, but that’s not why I’m being brought into that organization. My primary role will be administrative, in terms of maintaining the operation.
“Misha is a very active fund-raiser himself, and the regional offices are going to have primary responsibility in their areas of the country, but I’ll be expected to be the person who brings it together.”
As the number two person in JAFI’s North American operations, Sandman will supervise its regional offices.
His current position, he said, is “a very hard job to leave. The enormous commitment this community has, not only to Jewish life in MetroWest, but to the well-being of Jewish communities around the world, is really remarkable.”
While a search committee hunts for his replacement, Sandman already has some advice for his successor.
“I think the first thing is to really learn to love the community,” he said. “It really is a community that encompasses such a diversity of Jews from different places and experiences, and yet with such a passion for a deep and engaging Jewish life here, and extraordinary involvements around the world. So just step back and be wowed by that — by the people, the dedication of our donors, and by the staff of our agencies and federation.”