JDC taps former Columbia Law dean as CEO

Julie Wiener

NEW YORK (JTA) — The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee tapped a former Columbia Law School dean who once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to serve as its CEO.

David Schizer, 47, will take the helm of the international Jewish aid group on Jan. 1, pending his approval by the JDC board next week. He will succeed Alan Gill, who has served since January 2013.

A native of Brooklyn, Schizer was the youngest dean in the history of Columbia Law School, according to the JDC. In his 10 years at Columbia, he oversaw a $150 million annual budget and completed a $353 million capital campaign.

Schizer serves on the board of Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y, a Jewish cultural institution, and the Ramaz School, a large modern Orthodox day school.

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He is also president of America’s Voices in Israel and co-director of Columbia’s Center for Israeli Legal Studies. Schizer also has served on the board of Columbia-Barnard Hillel and as senior adviser to the Tikvah Fund.

“Although I am part of an incredibly fortunate generation of American Jews, I am named for a grandfather who fled pogroms and political upheaval in Ukraine,” Schizer said in a news release issued by the JDC. “Every Jewish family has a history of poverty, religious persecution, or violence – the only difference is how long ago it was. So for me personally, it is profoundly meaningful to be appointed CEO of an extraordinary organization that has been a lifeline to Jews in their hour of need, and that renews Jewish life throughout the world, including in places where my own family once lived.”

Schizer holds undergraduate, graduate and law degrees from Yale University. He clerked for Ginsburg and Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

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