Ira Schwartz, CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Is Leaving Post

Search Committee Formed To Fill Top Spot

By Devra Ferst

Published May 03, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Ira Schwartz, who has served as the head of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia for the past seven years, is leaving his post effective immediately the Jewish Exponent reported late on Friday afternoon.

“I am extremely proud of the many things we have achieved together over these last seven years,” Schwartz, 68, said in a short release. “It has been an honor and privilege to lead Philadelphia’s Federation and I am thankful for having had the opportunity.”

A search committee to fill the seat at one of the country’s major federations is underway says JSGP President Sherrie Savett and COO Alex Stroker will serve as the interim CEO.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Ira for his seven years at the helm of the Federation,” said Savett. “We are grateful for his dedicated service and I wish Ira and his family nothing but the best.”

While CEO, Schwartz helped raise $13.5 million for Israel during its war with Lebanon and $2 million to launch an initiative to combat hunger in Philadelphia’s Jewish community.

Formerly the provost of Temple University, Schwartz oversaw the purchase of a new campus for the city’s non-denominational Jewish day school, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy and was involved in the controversial decision to merge two local Jewish middle schools, Saligman Middle School and Barrack’s middle school.

In 2009 Schwartz came under fire in a Forward salary survey of Jewish executives for laying off five employees while not taking a pay cut from his $434,000 salary.

While his departure has been rumored in recent weeks, says the Exponent, JFGP gave no explanation for Schwartz’s abrupt departure.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.