Board appoints Cincinnati business and communal leader David Fisher to top post
NEW YORK, NY—David Fisher, a business leader in Cincinnati, Ohio and a lay leader in local and national Jewish nonprofit organizations, was named as president of the Birthright Israel Foundation, which has sent over 300,000 young Jewish adults on free educational trips to Israel since 2000.
“David Fisher brings a unique background to this assignment and comes to us at a vitally important moment in the organization’s young history,” said Daniel S. Och, chairman of the Birthright Israel Foundation. “David has a deep appreciation for building relationships to achieve successful results. Add to that his deep involvement in the Jewish community, willingness to raise the funds needed to support its growth and vitality, and his passion for Birthright Israel—I cannot think of a better person to lead us into the future.”
A Cincinnati native, Fisher has successfully led several Cincinnati-based businesses and held major leadership positions in the Jewish community. He spearheaded the effort to re-establish and build a new Cincinnati Jewish Federation/Jewish Community Center, a project that raised $45 million and was completed in 2008.
From 2003-2009, Fisher held numerous leadership positions with United Jewish Communities/Jewish Federations of North America. He co-chaired and led the organization’s strategic plan to refocus its Young Leadership department, was the National Young Leadership Co-Chair, the National Major Gifts Chair and its youngest National Campaign Chair from 2008-2009.
Fisher, 46, succeeds Robert Aronson, who is stepping down from the position but will continue to support the Foundation through the transition. “Bob Aronson has made a significant contribution in support of our work over these past years,” said Och. “Under Bob’s leadership the Foundation has significantly expanded its donor base and its relationships with Jewish federations throughout the country.”
“We undertook a rigorous, six-month process that led us eventually to David,” said Laurie Blitzer, chair of the Birthright Israel Foundation search committee. “More than 200 candidates were considered. David’s creativity and genuine passion for our work stood out. He gets it.”
Asked about his motivation to move from the business world to the top post at the Birthright Israel Foundation, Fisher recalled a leadership conference in Israel that he and his wife, Stacey, attended in 2011. “Each of the participants was asked to write two obituaries—one if they died today and one if they died in 25 years, with the intent being to focus on what we might want written about our lives 25 years down the road. I wanted to do something more, to contribute to our Jewish future and so I wrote my second obituary dedicating my life to connecting our young people to Israel.”
“I never imagined then that I would be given the opportunity to lead the Birthright Israel Foundation and fulfill my dream. I am honored and thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with all of the Birthright Israel stakeholders in the U.S. and Israel to grow Taglit-Birthright Israel for this generation and generations to come.”
Fisher is a past recipient of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati Kate Mack-Young Leadership Award and was named to the “Cincinnati 40 Under 40” list in 2000. He and his wife have four children – a son, 17, and daughters 15, 12 and 8.