BY RYAN TOROK
Richard Hirschhaut, American Jewish Committee’s new L.A. director. Photo courtesy of American Jewish Committee
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) named civil rights advocate and communal leader Richard Hirschhaut as its Los Angeles director, effective Sept. 3.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rick as our Los Angeles Director,” AJC Los Angeles Board President Scott Edelman, a partner at the law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, said in a statement. “He is a transformational leader who has served both the Jewish community and the broader American public with passion and integrity for over three decades.”
AJC CEO David Harris echoed Edelman’s enthusiasm.
“We are excited that Rick Hirschhaut will be bringing his depth of experience and passion for the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel to AJC,” Harris said in a statement. “A strong and vibrant AJC Los Angeles is crucial to advancing our global mission and we look forward to Rick’s leadership in achieving these important objectives.”
Hirschhaut served as the founding executive director of the Illinois Holocaust Museum from 2004-14. He worked at the Anti-Defamation League for 21 years, including a decade as the Midwest regional director in Chicago. He also has worked at American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and American Friends of Rambam Medical Center, all the while helping to secure the well-being and security of Jews in the United States, Israel and around the world, according to AJC.
Hirschhaut, who, with his wife, Susan, are the parents of two adult children, graduated from Tulane University in 1982. He also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
“I am humbled by the trust that has been placed in me to lead AJC Los Angeles,” Hirschhaut said. “We are reminded of the urgency of AJC’s mission every day. With dedicated leadership and talented professional staff, we will confront the incivility of our times by standing with communities facing the sting of intolerance.”
— Staff Writer Aaron Bandler contributed to this report