The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) announced the retirement of David M. Pollock, who served as Associate Executive Director, Director of Public Policy and Security and the founding Chair of the Community Security Initiative.
JCRC-NY’s CEO Emeritus, Rabbi Michael S. Miller, summarized David’s career, noting: “David Pollock has served as a professional at JCRC-NY for nearly its entire history and has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the organization. The scope of his contributions over the past 40+ years is virtually impossible to recount. Among his more well-known efforts over the decades was his one-man security operation in ensuring the security of New York’s Jewish community, its Torah scrolls and its several thousand institutions, which has directly led to the recent establishment of the Community Security Initiative (CSI). However, much less is known about David’s intense involvement as our government relations/public policy director, including his unparalleled oversight of the redistricting process, charter revision, legal issues, among many other esoteric matters impacting on Jewish communal life in New York. David is also a highly talented writer, whether for monographs, statements, legislative testimony, press releases and more, infrequently getting credit for his authorship.”
Rabbi Miller continued, “JCRC-NY was blessed to have had David Pollock, always on-call, as a steadfast senior member of its professional team. It was the New York Jewish community, in particular, as well as New Yorkers of all faiths and ethnicities, who benefitted from his outstanding service and self-sacrifice.”
Marking David’s retirement, JCRC-NY Chair, Cheryl Fishbein said, “I have had the honor and privilege to work with David as a JCRC lay leader for over 20 years. His wisdom and brilliance have contributed immeasurably to the success of this organization. He has become a dear friend and a fount of knowledge for me and my family. I know that I could reach out to him to gauge the level of safety for our Jewish community during challenging times and to help me understand the ins and outs of our most recent election. On a lighter note, David knows where one can find the best tasting shmura matzoh in NYC!”
JCRC President Bennett W. Golub said: “David has been one of the foundation stones of the JCRC and, by extension, it is not an exaggeration to say, of the entire New York Jewish community. Working often in the background, his experience and expertise has been essential to many communal initiatives. We are fortunate that David will continue work as an advisor to the Community Security Initiative, whose existence is in no small part due to David’s vision. He will forever have a home and friends at the JCRC.”
David began his career at the JCRC in 1980 as a Columbia Social Work intern. As the school year ended, JCRC Executive Director, Malcolm Hoenlein, remarked, “We can’t let you leave.” Little did David know that those words connoted a “life sentence”.
At the JCRC-NY for the majority of his adult life, David deeply understands the Jewish communities of New York, their needs, and the issues important to them. He has been a visionary and planner and a doer, providing vital services to fill glaring gaps.
David will continue to make his contributions to New York’s Jewish communities as a Senior Advisor to the Community Security Initiative. He noted, “I am both humbled and grateful that for over four decades, the JCRC-NY gave me an opportunity to serve the Jewish communities of New York, and all New Yorkers, while making a meaningful impact on those who were directly touched, and beyond.”
David’s varied contributions to JCRC initiatives spanned community building, government relations and policy, intergroup relations, meeting unmet needs, strategic planning, and of course, security. “Given the current level of threats faced by the Jewish community, it is fitting that the creation of the Community Security Initiative will prove to be the capstone of my JCRC-NY service.” David continued, “I am fortunate to be considered a trusted advisor to so many political, governmental, civic and community leaders. In that way, I could help make New York a better place for all. Throughout my career at the JCRC-NY, I’ve been blessed to work with, and be guided by, two of the world’s most talented Jewish professionals: Malcolm Hoenlein (1980-1985) and Michael S. Miller (1985-2020), a stellar cadre of JCRC Presidents and wonderful colleagues. Moreover, it has been an honor to work with JCRC’s leadership, featuring so many of the key leaders of New York City and New York State, from our founding President onward. Those who served as public policy chairs are stellar leaders. All taught me and demanded the best from me. I am deeply grateful to them for the experience of a lifetime.”
“Most especially, I want to thank Sharry and Tzvi,” David concluded, “they knew that they had to share me with the work that I loved, and they shared my commitment to the well-being of the Jewish community. Any of my accomplishments are due to their patience, forbearing and support.”
We mourn the passing of Hon. Richard (Dick) Ravitch, z”l, our beloved and esteemed Founding President, former NYS Lt. Governor, and past MTA Chairman.
Dick was an inspirational leader who dedicated his life to public service and the City and State of New York. It was our privilege to present him with our Founders Award at our 2022 Virtual Winter Benefit and produce a tribute video highlighting his extraordinary life.
Dick brought the massive skillset gleaned from his roles in saving New York City from bankruptcy and rescuing the mass transit system and took on the seemingly impossible job of bringing together the diverse Jewish communities of New York. Over close to half a century, he was always available with sage counsel and friendship, and we will miss his wisdom and guidance.
We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Kathleen M. Doyle, children and grandchildren. May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
JCRC-NY President Ben Golub
OPENING VIDEO & GREETINGS
Israeli Consul General Israel Nitzan, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, NYC Mayor Eric L. Adams, UJA-Federation of NY President Amy A. B. Bressman
JCRC-NY Chair of the Board Cheryl Fishbein
HONOREES’ TRIBUTE VIDEOS:
Jeffrey Gural, Community Builder Award
Gene Rachmansky, Blumberg Family Young Leadership Award
Hon. William C. Thompson, Jr., Public Service Award
PRESENTATIONS OF AWARDS
Ethan Gural to Jeffrey Gural
JCRC-NY Board Member and Award Founder Tom Blumberg to Gene Rachmansky
JCRC-NY CEO Emeritus Michael S. Miller to Hon. William C. Thompson, Jr.
JCRC-NY Executive Vice President and CEO Gideon Taylor
(Sponsors as of 6/4/23)
Link to booklet/Link to PDF
New York Social Diary
Harlem World Magazine
Left to right: Chair of the Board Cheryl Fishbein, President Ben Golub, CEO Emeritus Michael S. Miller,
Hon. William C. Thompson, Jr., Jeffrey Gural, Ethan Gural, Gene Rachmansky, Board Member Tom Blumberg,
Executive Vice President and CEO Gideon Taylor
TAPED GREETINGS FROM GOOD FRIENDS