Jewish Federations of North America are pleased to announce that their Board of Trustees has unanimously confirmed J. David Heller as the incoming National Campaign Chair. Heller, a Cleveland, Ohio resident, will begin his two-year term immediately, taking over from Gary Torgow who has been nominated as the next Chair of the Board of The Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit.
Heller will oversee Jewish Federations’ national campaigns to drive philanthropic growth to major initiatives, as well as enhance local fundraising efforts across our system of over 350 Federations and network communities, to ensure that the North American Jewish community’s greatest needs are met. Among the key initiatives that Heller will advance are LiveSecure, a $130 million initiative aimed at securing every Jewish community across North America, the next phase of our Ukraine campaign, which has raised to date $90 million for humanitarian relief efforts, and new efforts to combat antisemitism on the local levels.
He will also oversee the development of high-level missions across the Federation system that will enable funders and partners to see first-hand the work they are supporting.
Jewish Federations are the largest collective Jewish philanthropy in North America and raise and distribute more than $2 billion annually and through planned giving and endowment programs to support Jewish communities domestically and in Israel.
“As an individual who is deeply familiar with Jewish communal life, I have seen the tremendous role that Jewish Federations play in ensuring the health and well-being of our communities in every aspect, from educational and social service programs to security initiatives to supporting the most vulnerable locally, in Israel and around the globe,” said Heller. “I am honored to step into this leadership role and work with an incredibly talented group of lay leaders and professionals to ensure that our philanthropic needs are met and that our communities can flourish.”
Heller is the President and Cofounder of the NRP Group, one of the largest multifamily development, construction, and property management companies in the United States. In addition, he serves on the executive committee and is past Chairman of the Housing Credit Group for the National Association of Home Builders. Heller serves on the advisory board for the Campaign for Affordable Housing and the editorial advisory board for Affordable Housing Finance magazine. In 2010, Ernst & Young Cleveland recognized him as “Entrepreneur of the Year.”
Heller is greatly devoted to serving the Jewish community in Northeast Ohio and is deeply committed to community service. He has served on the Board of Trustees for Jewish Community Housing and Gross Schechter Day School. He was Board President of the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland, President of the Board of the Ohio Jewish Communities, and he chaired the Government Relations Committee at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.
Following his role as Campaign Chair in 2013 and 2014, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland named Heller Board Chairman for the 2019-2022 term. Most recently, he served as the Chair of Jewish Federations of North America’ Ukraine Emergency Campaign.
In January 2009, the President of the United States appointed Heller to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. In addition, he serves on the board of University Hospitals and on the boards of the Parkwood Corporation, United Way of Greater Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
“David has brought incredible vision to the Federation system and is an inspiring leader who guides with his actions,” said Jewish Federations of North America Board Chair Julie Platt. “The challenges the Jewish community faces – from rising antisemitism and security concerns to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and neighboring countries – require innovative solutions and the partnership of dedicated philanthropists. David will bring his rich expertise and personal and professional experiences to this role so that our system can be best equipped to fill these vital needs.”
Heller will join the other officers currently serving on Jewish Federations’ Board of Trustees: Board Chair Julie Platt, Vice Chair of the Board David Brown, Treasurer Suzanne B. Grant and Secretary Neil A. Wallack.
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