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Succession Plan for Top Professional Position Annouced by United Jewish Communities


H. Glenn Rosenkrantz
UJC Media Relations

New York -- June 11, 2001 -- As part of a planned succession in United Jewish Communities' (UJC) top professional position, Stephen H. Hoffman, president of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, has been named Chief Executive Officer of UJC, effective July 15, 2001. He will assume the additional title of President beginning in November 2001.

Stephen D. Solender, UJC President and Chief Executive Officer since the organization's founding in 1999, will retain the title of President after July 15 and will become President Emeritus during the UJC General Assembly in November. He will assist in implementing a smooth transition of professional leadership and focus on special projects essential to UJC's development.

The succession was announced as UJC officials anticipated an impending, planned retirement by Solender, and a new slate of volunteer officers who will take office in November.

"Stephen Solender lent his extraordinary leadership qualities and lifelong devotion to the Jewish community to UJC during its formative and challenging first few years," said Joel D. Tauber, Chair of the UJC Executive Committee. "Under his leadership, the organization has achieved significant goals and will continue to look to him for guidance.

"Stephen Hoffman, who comes with a tremendous track record of accomplishment in Cleveland, and enjoys respect from his peers throughout North American Jewish Federations and overseas, is perfectly positioned to lead the organization to the next plateau."

Hoffman became the chief professional officer of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland in 1983. Since then, the Federation greatly improved social services in the Cleveland federated area and internationally. Under his leadership, the Federation's annual campaign grew from $21 million to more than $29 million, the number of supporting foundations more than quadrupled, Federation assets grew to more than $1 billion, and service delivery programs have become national models. In addition, the Federation has highlighted Jewish education through a comprehensive Jewish education development program.

"I feel privileged to be asked to fill the top professional role at UJC," Hoffman said. "This is a time of opportunity for the North American Jewish community, as it seeks to address needs here at home, in Israel, and elsewhere overseas. I look forward to applying my perspectives, and building on Steve Solender's good work as UJC continues to solidify its mission and accomplishments."

Hoffman received a Master's degree in Jewish studies from the Baltimore Hebrew University, a Master's degree in social work from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor's degree from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. He is also a graduate of the Council of Jewish Federation's executive recruitment and education program.

He began his career at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland in 1974, and served as director of social planning and research and assistant director, before becoming president.

Hoffman was founding director of the Council for Initiatives in Jewish Education and serves on the Visiting Committee of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. He is a board member of the Musical Arts Association (the Cleveland Orchestra), the Mandel Foundation, and the David and Inez Myers Foundation. He is a past board member of the Greater Cleveland Roundtable, an organization devoted to promoting racial harmony in Cleveland.

Solender, president and CEO of United Jewish Communities since November 1999, was the executive vice president of UJA-Federation of New York for 13 years, beginning in 1986, and prior to that led the Associated Jewish Charities & Welfare Fund in Baltimore.

Under his leadership, UJC has made significant progress on innumerable fronts:

  • Implementation of UJC governance structures;
  • Development of strategic objectives for the four UJC Pillars: Jewish Renaissance and Renewal, Israel and Overseas, Financial Resource Development, and Human Services and Social Policy;
  • Completion of the National Jewish Population Survey 2000;
  • Emergence of UJC and the Federations as partners in birthright israel;
  • Creation of FedWeb, the website network for federations;
  • Initiation of the Overseas Needs and Assessments Distribution (ONAD) structure, which permits Federations to take direct responsibility for their overseas allocations;
  • National response by Federations to the Intifada during the past nine months;
  • Realization of an increase in Campaign/Financial Resource Development by working with Federations;
  • Implementation of significant efficiencies that have reduced UJC's overhead expenses by several million dollars.

Solender lauded the choice of Hoffman to succeed him.

"Steve Hoffman is a preeminent federation executive and Jewish communal professional," he said. "He has a splendid record of accomplishment in Cleveland and he is admired and respected by lay and professional leaders throughout the Jewish world. He is a natural choice and I am very optimistic of his ability to make a significant contribution to UJC. I look forward to working with him during the transition."

United Jewish Communities (UJC) represents 189 Jewish Federations and 400 independent communities across North America. Together, they continue to demonstrate unparalleled philanthropic success. Last year, 700,000 people contributed more than $826 million to the UJA Federation Annual Campaign and another $1.2 billion to endowment funds, capital campaigns, foundations and other special projects. In all, UJC is a $2 billion annual enterprise that provides life-saving and life-enhancing humanitarian assistance to those in need, and translates Jewish values into social action on behalf of millions of Jews in hundreds of communities in North America, in towns and villages throughout Israel, in the former Soviet Union, and 60 countries around the world.