For Immediate Release
Dr. William H. Weitzer Named Executive Director of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York City
The Leo Baeck Institute, a New York City-based research library devoted to the study and the history of German-speaking Jewry at the Center for Jewish History, today announced the appointment of Dr. William H. Weitzer as its new Executive Director, succeeding Carol Kahn Strauss, who will become the Institute’s International Director. Dr. Weitzer, formerly the Executive Vice President at Fairfield University in Connecticut, earned his Ph.D in Environmental Psychology at the University of Massachusetts. He has served as an administrator and a consultant in a variety of areas, including strategic planning, institutional research, and assessment. Dr. Weitzer has over thirty years of experience in academic affairs, budget and finance, fund raising, community relations, and program evaluation.
Dr. Ronald B. Sobel, President of the Institute, expressed the pleasure of the Board in the appointment of Dr. Weitzer whom he noted brings a wealth of talent and experience to this position. “We have the expectation that new and exciting chapters in the history of the Leo Baeck Institute are about to be written.”
At the same time, Dr. Sobel praised the unprecedented leadership of Carol Kahn Strauss, who led the LBI for almost two decades. He said of Ms. Strauss that “her skills and devotion have brought great prestige and recognition to the Institute’s mission. We are pleased that she will continue to be with us as our International Director.”
Upon his appointment, Dr. Weitzer commented: “I am honored and excited by the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of the Leo Baeck Institute. It is an opportune way for me to bring together various aspects of my life – being of German-Jewish descent, having involvement in Jewish communal life, working closely with faculty and scholars, and applying my professional and management skills in this new setting. I look forward to working with the Board of Directors, scholars, staff, and supporters of the LBI to preserve and utilize these unparalleled archives of German-Jewish history.”
In addition to his professional accomplishments, community involvement has been a priority in Dr. Weitzer’s life. While at the University of Massachusetts, he served on its Hillel Board and later was active in addressing equity and diversity issues in the West Hartford (CT) public schools, and is on the Board of the Jewish High School of Connecticut. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Lisa D. Grant, who is a professor at the Hebrew Union College.
The Leo Baeck Institute is a research library and archive that contains the most significant collection of source material relating to the history of German-speaking Jewry, from its origins to its tragic destruction by the Nazis and continuing to the present day. Dating back almost two thousand years, when Jews first settled along the Rhine, the Jewish communities of German, Austria, and other German-speaking areas of Europe had a history marked by individual as well as collective accomplishments.
Founded in 1955, the LBI was named for the rabbi who was the last leader of the Jewish community in Germany under the Nazis. Rabbi Leo Baeck survived the concentration camp of Theresienstadt to become the first President of the Institute. The Institute was established with offices in New York, London, and Jerusalem, with New York as the principal site of the LBI Library and Archives. Since the opening of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, LBI NY also maintains a branch of its archives there.
Dr. William H. Weitzer, Executive Director of Leo Baeck Institute
Office: (212) 744-6400
Cell: (646) 820-3256