Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut Welcomes New Executive Director
The Federation’s vision is to seek to be the place, both in real and in virtual settings, for thriving Jewish life, community and values in the Western and Northwestern parts of the state.
“We are fortunate to have found an individual with such a diverse array of skills and experiences to lead our Federation,” said Pauline Zimmerman, President of the Federation. “We consider it a bonus that his positions as an attorney in Waterbury and as the Regional Director of the Connecticut Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have given Gary a very good understanding of our communities and resulted in excellent relationships with many of the leaders of Federation and other Jewish communal organizations here in Western Connecticut.”
“As a member of the search committee, I first reached out to Gary
to see if he would be interested in speaking with the committee about this position,” said Eric Albert, Federation Past President and current Board member. “I have known Gary for many years and I consider him to be an extremely thoughtful and creative Jewish professional with extensive knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing the Jewish community. Just as important, he is a mensch who has a great way with people. I am so pleased that Pauline and the other members of the search committee are as excited about this match as I was when Gary and I first talked.”
A West Hartford resident, Jones was a business and finance lawyer
for the first part of his career, having been a partner in the Hartford
office of Schatz & Schatz, Ribikoff & Kotkin, in the Waterbury law firm of Drubner, Hartley, O’Connor and Mengacci, LLC and in the
Farmington law firm of Levy & Droney, P.C. Jones left his legal
practice when he was appointed the Regional Director of ADL
in Connecticut in 2010 and has continued to lead Jewish nonprofit organizations since that time, most recently as the Interim
Executive Director of Hillel at the University of Connecticut.
Throughout his career as an attorney and as a community professional, Jones has participated on many nonprofit boards, both in the Jewish and in the broader community. Jones currently serves as the President of the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT), which provides advocacy and other services to all seven of
Connecticut’s Jewish Federations and their Jewish Service Agencies.
Gary holds a B.A magna cum laude, with honors, from Brandeis University and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.
“I am honored to have been asked to take on this position,” said Jones. “I am so deeply impressed with the quality and commitment of the Federation’s Board members and look forward to working with the Board and all of the Federation’s supporters and constituents to help ensure that we honor our Jewish values in all that we do. Because we are a small Federation, we will have to look for creative ways to serve our constituents. In response to the pandemic, Federations throughout the State have already begun to work more collaboratively with one another on programming and education opportunities of all kinds. I know all of the Federation Executives in Connecticut and I am very optimistic that we will continue to work together once we have recovered from the pandemic and long into the future.”
“The Board is grateful to all the members of the search
committee for their devotion to finding the right candidate,”
said Roy Walzer, Vice President of the Federation. “In addition,
the Board wants to recognize the amazing work of our President, Pauline M. Zimmerman, who managed the Federation during the pandemic and the many months in which there was no Executive Director. We know that she could not have anticipated the obstacles that she would have to encounter when she became our President, but no one could have done this difficult job with more grace and skill. Thank you, Pauline!”