David Fisher stepped down in December after more than four years as the president of the Birthright Israel Foundation, where he led the fundraising to enable Taglit-Birthright Israel to send young Jews on free group trips to the Jewish homeland.
Fisher, who is originally from Cincinnati, moved with his family to Atlanta, the hometown of his wife, Stacey, in the summer of 2015.
“It was a tremendous experience on so many levels,” Fisher said of his time with the Birthright Israel Foundation. “Like so many experiences in life, it comes down to the people you share them with. My colleagues, our lay leadership and the supporters of Birthright Israel made my time at the foundation one which was challenging and unbelievably fulfilling.”
During his time at the foundation, Birthright sent more than 200,000 18- to 26-year-olds to Israel, and the foundation raised $400 million from donors, Jewish Federations and other foundations.
The money raised not only paid for the once-in-a-lifetime trip, but it also enabled the foundation to stabilize its finances to help Birthright accomplish its mission for years to come.
“We created a great team and culture and were twice the only Jewish nonprofit to be recognized as one of the best 50 nonprofits to work in the U.S.,” Fisher said. “By the time I left, more than one-third of the team at BRIF were alumni of the program. We accomplished a great deal.”
Izzy Tapoohi, the former head of Israel Bonds, has taken the leadership of the Birthright Israel Foundation as president and CEO. The 36 members of the foundation board include Atlantans Doug Ross and Mike Leven.
Fisher said his decision to leave the foundation wasn’t easy, but it was the right choice at the right time.
“Like many things, determining the right time to leave the foundation was complicated,” Fisher said. “We were coming upon a lay leadership transition, the commute and additional travel, and the necessity of keeping a certain pace and intensity all played a factor.”
Fisher now leads a consulting group he founded in December, Coalesce Advisors. His goal is to use his expertise to bring people and companies together so they can be successful in their endeavors.
“In general, I will be looking for opportunities to help others by doing good,” Fisher said. “One such opportunity that I have already undertaken is to work with a newly launched, Israel-based private equity fund.”
He said he has no plans to leave Atlanta, where the third of his four children is a high school senior and the youngest is in the seventh grade at the Epstein School. The Fishers joined Congregation B’nai Torah when they moved here in 2015.
Fisher said the family has enjoyed the new home.
“The weather is a heck of a lot better here most of the time, and the airport is a bit more robust. Cincinnati is great; Atlanta is great. Like I tell my kids all the time, every experience and every place is what you make of it,” he said. “I work hard at always making my experiences great and the places I am special and meaningful to me.”