Harvey Barnett is chair of the Consulting Committee of The Jewish Federations of North America's Board of Trustees. Mr. Barnett is immediate past secretary of JFNA’s Board. He is a past chair of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) Board of Directors and has been a leader in Chicago’s Jewish community for more than 25 years.
Mr. Barnett chaired JUF’s 2004 Campaign, led the Lawyers’ Division and Twin Orchard Country Club’s JUF campaign and has chaired numerous JUF missions to Israel. A past recipient of the Jewish Federation’s Young Leadership Award, in 2009 he received the Julius Rosenwald Award, the Federation’s highest honor.
Mr. Barnett was a major advocate for Soviet Jewry for more than 20 years, serving on the Board of Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry and as a member of its speaker’s bureau. During the 1980s, he was on the Board of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews. He organized and institutionalized the Soviet Jewry Legal Advocacy Center and served as a member of its Board and Executive Committee.
He served on the Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League, chaired its Civil Rights Committee and in 2003, received the ADL’s Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Civil Rights Award.
Mr. Barnett is currently counsel to the law firm of Sperling & Slater. He specializes in commercial litigation.
He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a law degree from Northwestern University.