Community

John Ruskay

John Ruskay is leaving them wanting more.

After 15 years heading the UJA-Federation of New York — one of the largest charities in the Jewish communal constellation — Ruskay, 67, has announced he will retire in mid-2014. The announcement comes with his standing still high in the eyes of New York Jews.

That’s something of an achievement in a year when two long-reigning New York Jewish communal CEOs were dismissed in disgrace.

Ruskay, for his part, has been a successful leader of the Federation despite a challenging economic environment. The organization says it raised $2.7 billion over the course of Ruskay’s tenure, and the group’s endowment has grown dramatically over the same period. The Federation regularly funds a large network of Jewish groups in the area and makes short-term grants to many more.

In 2012, Federation released a major survey that showed rising levels of poverty among New York City Jews. Among other findings, the survey also showed that the fastest-growing Jewish population in the city, the Orthodox, have little connection to the Federation, which could pose a challenge to Ruskay’s successor.

Prior to arriving at UJA-Federation in 1993, Ruskay earned a doctorate in political science at Columbia University. He was an activist with Breira, a short-lived left-wing Jewish group formed in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War to advocate for mutual recognition between Israelis and Palestinians.

“This has been a fabulous, wonderful professional journey,” Ruskay told the Forward in April. “It’s also time to move on a little bit, to create some room for others.”

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!
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • 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.