Vic Alhadeff bows out from CEO spot

October 22, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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After 16 years of service to the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, CEO Vic Alhadeff has notified the Board of his intention to step down.

Vic Alhadeff

The Board and Alhadeff will commence a search for a successor, and Alhadeff will assist with his successor’s transition, after which he will relinquish his full-time CEO duties in the first half of 2021 and then assume the role of part-time consultant, focusing on the external relations of the Board.

The announcement was released this week in a joint statement by Board of Deputies president Lesli Berger and Alhadeff.

“Vic has been a dedicated and tireless leader of the Board and the community for 16 years and has substantially elevated the work of the Board and its status in the Jewish and general communities to the great heights it now enjoys,” Berger said.. 

While CEO of the Board of Deputies, Alhadeff served as chair of Multicultural NSW and as spokesperson for the Keep NSW Safe coalition, which campaigned successfully for legislative reform to outlaw incitement to violence on the basis of race, religion, gender and sexual orientation.

“We accept Vic’s decision with great regret,” Berger said. “We appreciate the fact that he has agreed to work with us to ensure a seamless transition and succession, in order to maintain and enhance the standing and effectiveness of the organisation into the future. His talents and expertise will then continue to be available to us as a consultant.” 

Saying it had been “an honour and privilege to have represented the Board of Deputies”, Alhadeff added: “The Board and the NSW Jewish community have been in my DNA for these 16 years, and it has been gratifying to have worked for the well-being of every member of the community, from our new-born babies to our centurions and Holocaust survivors. I remain dedicated to that noble pursuit and will do whatever I can to effect a seamless transition to my successor.” 

Prior to taking up his role as CEO, Alhadeff was editor of the Australian Jewish News, serving on the newspaper for 18 years, during which time he travelled to Moscow three times to cover the campaign to free Soviet Jewry; to Berlin to cover the collapse of the Berlin Wall; and to Israel, where he reported on the Gulf War and the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Co-CEO of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Peter Wertheim told J-Wire: “During his time as CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Vic has really moved the dial in upgrading the NSW Jewish community’s level of engagement with the media, politicians and other community leaders.

He has acted with great integrity and passion, winning respect and affection from those he has worked with, and bringing great credit to himself and the community he has served.   Vic’s retirement will mark the end of an era both for the Board of Deputies and the Jewish community.  He has set the highest standards for those who will follow him.”

NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair and Shadow Treasurer Walt Secord described Mr Vic Alhadeff as a “trail-blazer”.

“I’ve known Vic Alhadeff for 30 years and he has continually surprised me.  While he has always been one of the strongest advocates for Judaism, the Jewish community, Israel and promoting tolerance and harmony in our society, he astonished the community when he took a principled stand almost 21 years ago on gay rights. At the time, he defied some Orthodox rabbis who criticised him for championing a gay Jewish float in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. It was pretty gutsy.”

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