Aeder wants to ensure that there’s a healthy stream of qualified Jewish professionals to fill the O.U.’s ranks in the United States
As the new chief lay leader of the Orthodox Union, a sprawling umbrella organization responsible for everything from the country’s most prominent kosher certification to an international youth movement to a broad network of synagogues, Mitchel Aeder hopes to stay the course.
“I think the O.U. is in a very good place, thank God,” Aeder told eJewishPhilanthropy days after becoming the organization’s president. “I don’t anticipate any radical changes… The goal, I think, is to do much more of the same.”
Within the $150 million organization, however, Aeder said there are challenges he wants to address and strengths he hopes to buttress as both the Orthodox world and broader society move into the future. He mentioned ensuring that there’s a healthy stream of qualified Jewish professionals to fill the O.U.’s ranks in the United States, in light of “a well-reported and discussed shortage of people going into communal work professionally.” He also discussed a continued emphasis on “collaboration and synergies among the different groups” that comprise the O.U.
Aeder, 62, who retired in 2021 from serving as a corporate tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, grew up in New Jersey and lives in the heavily Orthodox Queens, New York, neighborhood of Kew Gardens Hills. Prior to being unanimously elected as the group’s president at a convention on Jan. 1, Aeder served in a variety of volunteer leadership positions within the O.U. — from chair of Yachad, which serves people with disabilities, to chair of the division that oversees NCSY, the O.U.’s 30,000-person youth group. He succeeds Mark Bane, also known as Moishe, who served as president for six years.
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