JCA’s incoming president is no stranger to the organisation or the community. Ian Sandler will succeed Stephen Chipkin, who has held the role since 2014.
Sandler, who will officially take over at the end of the year, was JCA’s CEO from 2006-2013 and successfully navigated it through the GFC. He remained involved in the Investment Committee until last year.
“I understand how difficult it is to raise money in tough times and I know a lot about the community, so I can get up to speed pretty quickly and I think I can add a lot of value,” he said.
“Hopefully it will be a seamless transition.”
Noting that NSW Jewry faced similar challenges, Sandler cited the cost of a Jewish education and caring for the elderly as main communal priorities.
“We just need to make sure that we plan … We’ve done a successful job with this community for over 50 years and hopefully we’ll continue doing that under my stewardship,” he said, adding when the time is right JCA will look to the next generation for a successor.
Sandler said Chipkin, “one of the most sincere people I know”, has left the community “in a stronger position than it was when he took over”.
He added, “The last hire I made at JCA was [now CEO] Alain Hasson. That’s worked out pretty well. My job is just to give him support and advice when he wants it.”
Chipkin said he is delighted to have found a successor with Sandler’s “experienced hands and commitment to community”.
“He brings all the experience and knowledge of the organisation, the knowledge of how the community works, where its strengths are, where its challenges are,” he said.
Quipping that “this community doesn’t let people go that easily”, he pledged to remain involved in an informal capacity. He added that he is proud of how the community has supported each other in the face of COVID-19.
Hasson noted that learning from Sandler was one of the reasons he joined JCA in 2013.
“Ian brings significant knowledge,” he said.
“When I recently took on the CEO position, there was a lot I looked at in terms of Ian to emulate.”
Paying tribute to Chipkin for reinvigorating JCA and increasing fundraising, he said, “Stephen has a significant understanding of the community and donors and has been pivotal in steering us through the current COVID-19 crisis.
“But certainly, Ian’s experience and having been CEO through the GFC, it’s a very strong set of hands to hand over to. I’m extremely excited by the possibility of what we can achieve together during his presidency.”