Dr. Steven B. Nasatir, President of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and the longest-serving chief executive of any Jewish Federation in North America, has announced that he will transition to a new role at JUF – Executive Vice Chairman – in about a year.
At that time, Nasatir will have served as JUF’s top executive for 40 years, and will have been with the organization for 48. During his tenure, JUF has grown to be one of the largest non-profit social service organizations in the country.
In a statement, Nasatir said, “In making this announcement, I reflect on what has been a lifetime of service to the Jewish community. I made my first gift to JUF in 1967, when, as a recent college graduate, the Six Day War galvanized me to action. Four years later I came to work at JUF, beginning what for me continues to be a profound journey, merging my personal and professional passions.
“I leave it to others to evaluate JUF’s impact over the last number of decades but of one thing I am certain: We, who have dedicated ourselves to JUF/Jewish Federation and who continue to devote our lives to serving our community, are privileged.
“We helped create a Jewish community whose strength and impact are unprecedented. We helped change the course of Jewish history by rescuing and resettling persecuted Jews from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Syria, Yemen, and many other places of danger, enabling them to build new lives in freedom.
“We proudly stood shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in Israel, helped them overcome grave challenges, and supported their efforts to build a just, open, diverse, and secure society. We raised ever-increasing funds to meet expanding needs, and supported growth and change within our agencies, schools and myriad beneficiaries, touching each year the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jews and non-Jews.
“How great a zechut, a privilege and opportunity, it is to serve the community where I was born, and which I love.”
JUF Chairman of the Board Michael Zaransky announced that he is establishing a search committee to choose a new CEO. He said that Nasatir will continue in his current capacity for the coming year and will “ensure that the new CEO hits the ground running.”
Nasatir will then assume the role of Executive Vice Chairman in which he will represent JUF in various special capacities, including on the boards of directors of several foundation and nonprofits, and as the executive responsible in a variety of new and ongoing initiatives. Zaransky said Nasatir will “continue to leverage his network of relationships, creativity, and expertise for the benefit of the Jewish people locally and globally.”
Zaransky said Nasatir’s “impactful role in the great events in Jewish life over nearly five decades has been extraordinary.” He said ”the true essence of Steve’s contributions isn’t quantifiable: vision and integrity; energy and drive; relentless pursuit of ambitious goals; love of Israel and the Jewish people; passion for our national and international systems; pride in his Jewish and American DNA. These are the qualities that define Steve, and which account for his remarkable legacy as a transformational leader.”