SPECIAL FOR THE AJT //
Dale Schwartz of Atlanta has been elected chairman of the board of Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees.
Schwartz, an immigration lawyer, will succeed Marc Silberberg of New York City. He is the 22nd community leader elected to chair the agency since its founding in the 1880s. His initial term is for one year.
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“HIAS is in my blood, part of my DNA,” Schwartz said. “Not just because HIAS brought to America three of my grandparents and helped them establish new lives here, but because of the millions of other people – Jews and non-Jews – whom HIAS has rescued or resettled. To be a part of that effort – even in a small way – is both an honor and a precious gift from above.”
Schwartz also praised Silberberg.
“I am grateful to my predecessor, Marc Silberberg, who in the last year has led deep, thoughtful, and strategic deliberations between the HIAS board, staff and other stakeholders. We no longer just resettle refugees in the United States and elsewhere; we now provide direct assistance to refugees in camps and urban areas in remote sites such as Kenya, Uganda and Latin America, to name but a few.”
Schwartz said such work has been part of the organization for more than a decade, but that now it’s all part of HIAS’ mission, implementation and branding.
“Among my near-term goals,” Schwarz said, “ are increasing the awareness of our transition to a ‘new HIAS’; obtaining increased resources and funding for our lifesaving programs in 14 countries on five continents; preserving and indexing the treasure trove of HIAS archives that document our work helping 4.5 million people over more than 130 years; and continuing our role as a leading advocate for the dignity of refugees and immigrants everywhere.”
Schwartz was born in Columbus, Ga. and grew up in the Bronx. His family later moved to Winder, Ga., where he attended high school.
A member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Georgia, Schwartz attended Vanderbilt University and The George Washington University and earned his bachelor’s and law degrees at the University of Georgia, where he was an editor of the Georgia Law Review.
Currently a principal of Dale M. Schwartz & Associates, LLP, he also is adjunct professor of immigration law at Emory University School of Law and has been on the board of HIAS since 1981. Among other honors, Schwartz received the Abe Goldstein Young Leadership Award from the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, on whose board he served for a number of years and for whom he served as Project Renewal co-chairman.
Schwartz is married to Susan Ellis Schwartz; they are the parents of three married daughters and have nine grandchildren and attend Temple Sinai in Sandy Springs.
The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society is the global Jewish nonprofit organization that protects refugees – including women and children, and ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities – whose lives are in danger for being who they are. Visit HIAS.org to learn more.