Message from James Schiller
I am originally from Baltimore, which most of you know is a very large and active Jewish community. I was close to Shoshana Cardin, who was chair of NCSEJ during the height of Soviet Jewry activism. She was a mentor to me and so many others. We worked together at the Conference of Presidents, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and many other organizations. To be Chair of an organization where she was a great leader has special significance to me.
Over the years I have been fortunate to be able to see firsthand the excellent work of NCSEJ and how the organization transitioned itself from fighting for the freedom of Soviet Jews to become the premier agency protecting and strengthening the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
We know that NCSEJ is the best kept secret in the American Jewish community partially because some of what we do is behind the scenes. One very successful program is our Diplomats Roundtable, where we bring diplomats from Embassies in Washington together with NCSEJ and other experts to discuss historical and contemporary anti-Semitism. We help provide a better understanding about how these issues affect their government’s relationship with Jewish communities in their countries.
NCSEJ has worked persistently to develop one of the best networks of relationships with government officials and with Jewish communities in more than 20 countries in the region. Just last week NCSEJ, in cooperation with the Baltimore Jewish Federation and the Jewish community in Odessa Ukraine, worked together to preserve an historic Jewish community center in that city.
One of my goals is to make the American Jewish community aware of what others, such as the governments and the Jewish communities in the region, and many in the U.S. government have known for years, that NCSEJ is the go to organizations on issues related to the safety and security of the Jews in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to lead and coordinate the ongoing efforts of this vital organization and look forward to working with the lay leadership, member agencies, and professional staff of NCSEJ during a time of
uncertainty and change. I hope I can count on all of you for your involvement and support.