Federation CJA appoints Deborah Corber new CEO

Photo: Vadim Daniel

Starting on September 6th, Federation CJA will have a new Chief Executive Officer assuming the helm as the top professional of the organization. In this role, Deborah Corber joins Federation at an important time in its history as it moves forward to implement its new strategic vision, Imagine 2020, and secures Montreal as the city with the highest quality of Jewish life in North America.  Together with a talented team of professionals, lay leadership and committed volunteers, she will lead Federation CJA’s drive to strengthen the vitality, diversity and sustainability of the Montreal Jewish community.

“In our search, we set out to find a new kind of leadership.  We were looking for someone to build on the strengths of our Federation; to build bridges across diverse segments of the community and develop consensus among divergent points of view; to drive an innovative change agenda that will shape our future; and to help connect us to a wider range of voices across the spectrum of our community,” Jack Hasen, President of Federation CJA, said. “I believe that in Deborah Corber, we have found a CEO with the skills, passion and commitment to fulfill these objectives.”

Corber is a native of Montreal, where she grew up in a home infused with a love of Jewish tradition and an abiding dedication to community service.  Her community involvements are numerous. She was an early member of the precursor to the Young Adult Division (YAD) of Combined Jewish Appeal.  She served on the Board and Executive of JIAS Montreal and was subsequently invited to join the Board and Executive of Ometz, where she presently serves as First Vice-President.

“I’m thrilled to have been offered this exceptional opportunity to serve a community that I know and love,” said Corber.  “Living as a Jew in Montreal is a gift: there are countless ways to connect with one another, to study and practice our faith, to receive comfort and support in times of need and to find Jewish meaning however we choose to define it.  I look forward to joining all those who are dedicated to securing an exciting future for our community”.

Corber joins Federation having served for 24 years as a senior legal and policy advisor to the federal government in the area of Aboriginal affairs, first as legal counsel to the Department of Justice, and for the past 10 years, in her own consulting practice.  She has represented Canada in a wide range of complex negotiations to resolve legal disputes and to modernize the legal and political arrangements by which First Nations govern their communities.  Corber describes herself as being in the “reconciliation and relationship business” and attributes much of her success to an ability to find common ground among adversaries and across different world views.

Corber’s appointment is the result of a rigorous and competitive process led by David Cape, First Vice-President of Federation CJA, and a Federation CJA search committee made up of Susan Laxer, Robert Vineberg, Jonathan Bicher, Michael Etinson, Julia Reitman, Rika Bohbot Cohen and Neil Hazan. The search was assisted by The Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence of Jewish Federations of North America.

“It was very impressive to see the quality of the candidates who applied for this position. We are fortunate that, in Montreal, we have so many individuals who have a demonstrated commitment to the vitality and continuity of the Jewish community,” Cape said. “As we begin this new phase in the storied history of our Jewish community, I am confident that we will secure Montreal as the city with the highest quality of Jewish life in North America.”

  • [...] week, the Federation CJA, of Montreal, announced the selection of Deborah Corber as Chief Executive Officer. This is a moment both to celebrate the [...]

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