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March 6, 2013 By:
Head of Local AJC Steps Down
After just a year and a half on the job, Rabbi Mark Robbins has resigned his post as director of the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey Region of the American Jewish Committee.
“I will be returning to the active rabbinate, which I miss very much — either on a pulpit or on a campus,” said Robbins, a Conservative rabbi who had served as religious leader of Ohev Shalom in Wallingford, but left that position several years ago to move to Israel with his family for a few years.
“I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished at AJC over the past year and a half,” he said, citing his work in Latino-Jewish relations and in commemorating the Soviet Jewry movement.
Marcia Bronstein, director of development for the office, will serve as acting regional director while a search for a replacement is conducted, according to regional chairman Morton (Mickey) J. Simon.
“We appreciate his accomplishments with AJC. We respect his decision to return to the rabbinate and are pleased that he has agreed to make himself available over the next few months to consult with and assist AJC during the transition period,” Simon wrote in an email to board members and the heads of other Jewish organizations.
Robbins, known for his cerebral approach to issues, had replaced Ilana Wilensik, the onetime country music DJ who had led the office for eight years.
Murray Friedman, who died in 2005, led the office for 43 years and was considered one of the most influential leaders in the organization’s 107-year history.
The membership organization is known for having board members with strong political and business connections in the city.
In recent years, the agency long known for its work on civil rights and a broad range of domestic issues has narrowed its focus. While immigration and energy independence remain priorities, AJC has placed much of its energies toward a global advocacy effort on behalf of Israel.