Reflecting on six years at the Alliance

Friday, June 23

Earlier this year, Jeffrey Savit announced his resignation as president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island. This speech was presented at the June 8 annual meeting of the Alliance. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. …” It’s as if Charles Dickens was foreshadowing the Rhode Island Jewish community in 2011. When I arrived, we were a proud yet “siloed” community wrought asunder by severe financial challenges and divided loyalties. In the intervening six years, territorial duality is being increasingly replaced by compassionate UNITY, which I believe to be the five most important letters of the word community.

Richard Licht: A tribute to Jeffrey Savit

This was presented by Richard Licht at the June 8 Alliance annual meeting. It has been edited slightly for publication. Six years ago our community took a risk and embarked on a new voyage. Three venerable institutions – each with a storied history of serving the Rhode Island Jewish community – combined to form the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island. While the new Alliance had dedicated lay leadership and a talented and committed staff, it lacked a professional leader. So we doubled down on our bet and engaged a man who lacked the typical credentials and curriculum vitae for a CEO of a major Jewish nonprofit organization.
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