JDC names Annie Sandler as its new president

She brings to the role decades of senior leadership experience in the Jewish and Israel space as well as in arts, education, cultural affairs, community development, youth and mental-health initiatives.

A JDC Jewish community volunteer helps an elderly woman onto a bus that is part of a JDC evacuation convo out of the city of Dnipro during the height of the conflict. Photo by Misha Kovalev.
A JDC Jewish community volunteer helps an elderly woman onto a bus that is part of a JDC evacuation convo out of the city of Dnipro during the height of the conflict. Photo by Misha Kovalev.
Annie Sandler
Annie Sandler. Credit: Courtesy.

NEW YORK—The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has named noted Jewish, civic and global philanthropic leader Annie Sandler as its new president, following a unanimous vote in December by the board of directors.

Sandler has served on JDC’s board since 2012, most recently as a vice president. Her involvement in Jewish life and global humanitarian relief efforts is informed by extensive travel and flagship work revitalizing Jewish life in Romania, in addition to bolstering and innovating Israel’s social service sector over 20-plus years.

“I am honored to be trusted to lead this incredible organization during this tumultuous time in the world—a time when it is needed more than ever! I have watched JDC tirelessly serve communities in distress across the globe, from Ukraine to Israel, and it has only reinforced my passion for its timeless work on behalf of the Jewish people,” said Sandler. “I am excited to continue working closely with the JDC’s professional leadership and my board colleagues to further the organization’s exceptional work in creating a Jewish future that is strong and resilient for our children, grandchildren and all who follow in our footsteps.”

A passionate champion of the Jewish people and Israel, Sandler begins her tenure as JDC’s president after decades of senior volunteer leadership positions at local, national and international agencies. Among these are organizations in her home community of Virginia Beach, Va., including the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and the Simon Family JCC. She is a founding member of the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts.

Sandler was a recipient of the Virginia Beach Education Association’s “Whole Village Award” and named one of the “Influential Women of Virginia.” She is the mother of four children as well as a grandmother.

Sandler serves on the board of the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies and the Commonwealth of Virginia Commission to Combat Antisemitism, and is a fellow of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, where she was a founder and president. She has been deeply involved with the Jewish Federation system over the years, especially in roles with the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Women’s Philanthropy and as a Lion of Judah, and was one of the first recipients of the Kipnis-Wilson Friedland Award. She previously sat on the board of the New York City Ballet Choreography Institute and was a founder of Project Healthy Minds.  

“We are fortunate to have someone as passionate as Annie take the role of JDC president,” said JDC CEO Ariel Zwang. “Her love of our global work, her leadership in so many roles over the years, her time in the field—all are truly extraordinary. I am confident she will serve as a strong leader as all of us work together to navigate multiple international humanitarian crises impacting the Jewish people, Israel, and the global rise in antisemitism.”

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Active today in 70 countries, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) work to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and help Israel overcome the social challenges of its most vulnerable citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Our reach extends beyond the global Jewish community by providing high-impact disaster relief and long-term development assistance worldwide.
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