Two weeks after the American Jewish Congress suspended its operations, the American Jewish Committee has hired the shuttered group’s highest-ranking professional.
Marc Stern, former co-executive director and general counsel for the AJCongress, is the AJC’s new associate general counsel for legal activity, the AJC announced August 2. Stern had been at the AJCongress for 33 years.
The AJCongress, a longtime rival of the AJC, officially went on hiatus in mid-July as a result of financial difficulties incurred over the past decade. The fiscal woes were exacerbated when the organization lost most of its assets in the Bernard Madoff scandal.
Rumors that the two organizations had been discussing a merger had been long-standing — and officials at the AJCongress confirmed them. But the Stern hire has nothing to do with any potential merger, according to an AJC spokesman.
“There are no merger talks,” the spokesman said. “That has nothing to do with this. Marc Stern will be joining us on August 9.”
Stern, in his long tenure at the AJCongress, focused on church-state issues. In 2008 he became the acting co-director along with Matt Horn when executive director Neil Goldstein stepped down. Stern and Horn became co-directors when a search committee failed to find a successor to Goldstein.
AJC Executive Director David Harris said he was “thrilled” that Stern was coming aboard.
“Marc brings unparalleled experience and expertise in international law of war, or lawfare, constitutional and other legal advocacy issues that are of paramount concern to the Jewish community,” Harris said.