David Kurzmann, Alicia Chandler

JCRC/AJC Executive Director David Kurzmann prepares for a new opportunity at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

By JN Staff

Featured photo by Andrea Stinson

JCRC/AJC Executive Director David Kurzmann is heading down one floor in the Max M. Fisher Federation Building in Bloomfield Township to a new position as senior director, community and donor relations at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, reporting to Federation CEO Scott Kaufman.

Kurzmann will be leaving JCRC/AJC effective July 12 and starting at Federation a week later.

While much of his focus will be on donor stewardship, Kurzmann will also provide key leadership in other areas at Federation, including government relations, Israel advocacy and community-building.

Federation CEO Scott Kaufman said, “I have worked closely with David in his role as executive director of the JCRC/AJC and have seen firsthand that he is a truly exceptional Jewish communal professional and leader. His extensive knowledge, experience and passion for our mission will be a tremendous addition to our team.”

Kurzmann has been in his position at the JCRC/AJC since October 2015. During his tenure, he successfully negotiated the merger between the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit and AJC and served as the community spokesperson through the aftermath of the deadliest act of anti-Semitism in United States history. Prior to his position at the JCRC/AJC, Kurzmann was the assistant regional director for the Anti-Defamation League in Chicago.

Kurzmann said he had not been looking to leave JCRC/AJC, but when Kaufman offered him the opportunity, he couldn’t refuse.

“It’s been a privilege and honor to serve at JCRC/AJC and build bridges with other communities,” Kurzmann said. “My greatest passion is serving Jewish Detroit and the nature of my new role will be to take the experience I have with external audiences and apply it within our community to advance Federation’s mission. I think I can have a great impact in a new way.”

He said the reason he wanted to make his new position public so quickly was to give JCRC/AJC as much times as possible to find a successor.

JCRC/AJC President Alicia Chandler said JCRC/AJC will immediately embark on an extensive search for a new executive director who will “continue to advance our mission of representing the metropolitan Detroit Jewish community, Israel and Jews throughout the world to the general community, and establishing collaborative relationships with other ethnic, racial, civic and religious groups.”

She said she will be sharing details soon on the formation of a search committee and a larger transition plan. A posting for the job of executive director of JCRC/AJC can be found at jewishjobs.com.

“For the past two years, David has been my partner-in-service to the agency,” Chandler wrote in an email to board members. “During this time, he has become both a trusted adviser and close friend. While I am sad that he will be leaving our agency, I am thrilled that his talents will continue to strengthen our partner, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, as well as the greater Detroit community.”

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