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At our Jewish Neighborhood Development Council of Chicago board meeting Wednesday night, I announced that our Executive Director, Shalom Klein, plans to conclude his professional engagement with us no later than July 1, 2019.

I’ve had many conversations with Shalom over recent years about his career aspirations. Much as I’d like him to stay with us indefinitely, I fully agree that now is a good time for him to take the next steps forward and focus on his longer-term goals.  We are fortunate to have been able to benefit from his professional talents for what has been a five-year run of extraordinary productivity.

It isn’t often that one has the opportunity and privilege to launch an organization and watch it succeed.  While JNDCC has been in existence (as Jewish Community Council of West Rogers Park) since 1975, when we re-launched it five years ago, it was effectively out of business.  The milestones on our renewed journey have been many, and now Shalom’s time with us during this formative period will become one of those markers:  a very important marker, because without him it’s hard to imagine that we could have accomplished so much.

So now we begin to plan for the future.  We will engage in a search process for a successor and look forward to a positive professional transition.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Shalom for all that he has done.  He is a gifted and inspired networker and a tireless worker.  He has become a good friend, and it has been a privilege to work with him both as a mentor and increasingly, as a colleague.

I look forward to Shalom staying active with us in a volunteer capacity.  He may be moving on, but I sure hope that he isn’t moving out of JNDCC.

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