Joel Marcovitch, who has led JewishColumbus since 2018, is leaving effective immediately as president and CEO, according to a March 17 statement from the JewishColumbus board of trustees. No reason was given for his departure.
Naomi Lamb, JewishColumbus’ executive vice president and COO, will serve as interim CEO, while Julie Tilson-Stanley, chief development officer, will expand her role to include interim president, the trustees said in the statement to the Columbus Jewish News.
The trustees thanked Marcovitch for the impact he has had on the organization, including his leadership through tragedies such as the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the COVID-19 pandemic health threat and an international crisis with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The trustees expressed “gratitude for his years of service,” in announcing his departure. “We are so appreciative of the successes that Joel has achieved in this role since he assumed this position. ... We thank him for his years of service and wish him the best as he pursues other opportunities.”
Marcovitch’s leadership, according to the trustees, led to the necessary support being provided to the community during a once-in-a-century health crisis as “JewishColumbus raised $1.66M of funding that was distributed throughout the community to help various agencies, synagogues, organizations overcome some of the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He also played an integral role in protecting the Jewish community amid antisemitic attacks across the country, the trustees said.
“After the tragedy at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, and subsequent events in Poway, CA and Jersey City, NJ, a community-wide security effort was funded and put into place to help ensure that synagogues and Jewish institutions are protected,” the trustees said.
Marcovitch’s efforts did not stop at the Ohio or the U.S. border, they said.
“Joel led our response to the war in Ukraine by taking two mission trips to Poland to be a witness and fundraiser for the community dollars that are used to support overseas aid agencies who are dealing with this crisis on the ground,” the trustees said.
Marcovitch also oversaw the growth of JewishColumbus’ annual campaign and management of the organization’s assets.
Despite the change in leadership, JewishColumbus said the organization doesn’t anticipate problems in providing support and services moving forward.
“We are confident that there will be a smooth leadership continuity and management of the organization,” the trustees said.