OU Names Allen Fagin of Manhattan Chair of Youth Commission

31 May 2013


Orthodox Union President Martin Nachimson has announced that Allen I. Fagin of Manhattan, OU senior vice president and past chairman of the Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) Commission, has been named Chairman of the OU’s Youth Commission. Mr. Nachimson himself was Chair of that all-important body for six years during the presidency of Stephen J. Savitsky.

The Commission supervises the work of NCSY, the OU’s international youth movement, which includes teenagers from both yeshiva/day schools and public schools. NCSY currently operates in more than 200 cities across the United States, Canada, Chile, Israel, Argentina and Germany.

“Allen Fagin displays the talents of a successful and renowned attorney who has dedicated great time and effort to the Orthodox Union and will now lead NCSY at a very critical time,” Mr. Nachimson declared. “It’s critical because while dealing with the challenge of expanding NCSY’s outreach to our youth, we have key positions to fill while reviewing the overall goals and approaches to guide us in our work.”

Reflecting on his six years in the position, Mr. Nachimson said, “NCSY is such an important program. During my time as Chair we saw its growth and the addition of new programs; we look forward to similar advances under Allen’s leadership.”

Mr. Fagin is a graduate of Columbia College (1971); Harvard Law School and the JFK School of Government at Harvard, where he received a joint degree in Law and a Masters Degree in Public Policy, both in 1975. Professionally, Mr. Fagin has practiced law at Proskauer Rose LLP since 1976, one of the leading international law firms, where he was Chairman from 2005-2011. Prior to serving as Proskauer’s Chairman, he was Co-Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Department.

Mr. Fagin comes to his new Orthodox Union chairmanship with a decades-long background at the highest levels of OU lay leadership. Most recently, he spent three years working with professional staff leadership of JLIC, which places an educator couple on 16 campuses across the United States and Canada to encourage and facilitate the observance, commitment and education of Orthodox students on campus, while at the same time opening up Torah knowledge to the general Jewish student community.

“The purpose of the Youth Commission is to provide oversight to the organization and to partner with the professional staff in providing support and assistance,” Mr. Fagin explained. Noting that NCSY has long been state of the art in communicating with and motivating teens, he added, “In terms of the future, it means active outreach not only to students who are already in the fold, but to those outside the fold. NCSY has developed a wide array of programs to engage with teens where they are, and to effectively utilize tools and techniques that are consistent with those that are being used by teens generally. We need to embrace technology, educational methods and experiential learning that speaks to that generation. That is a major NCSY priority. Our outstanding team of NCSY professionals is fully dedicated to this critical mission.”

Other priorities, he said, “are to emphasize the quality of our programming and to serve as a model to other organizations engaged in youth programming. Taken together, these priorities will require a major push in terms of staff development and professional organization.”

The Orthodox Union is by no means Mr. Fagin’s only lay involvement in the Jewish community. He serves on the Board of the Touro College and University System; the Beth Din of America; The Jewish Center, an Orthodox Union member congregation on the West Side of Manhattan; and the Columbia-Barnard Hillel. He is former Chairman of the Board of American Friends of Yeshivat Sha’alvim in Israel.

In other affiliations, Mr. Fagin is a Member of the Columbia College Board of Visitors and of the American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Mr. Fagin’s wife, Judith, recently retired as Head of School at Ramaz; she is now an educational consultant. Mr. and Mrs. Fagin have two sons, Robert and Gavriel, and 11 grandchildren.

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