Well known community askan Reb Shia Markowitz will be taking on a volunteer leadership role in Agudath Israel of America, as Chief Executive Officer, where he will oversee operations and manage the many divisions that cater to the diverse needs of the Jewish community.
The Agudah has grown rapidly over the last few years and now has entire divisions dealing with government advocacy, limud Daf Yomi, social services, youth programming, housing assistance, end of life issues, special education, yeshiva services, constituent services and job training and placement, among others. That significant expansion has brought with it a need for additional management within the Agudah, prompting the board of trustees to make this move.
With a more than 30 year history as an advocate for the Jewish community, Reb Shia brings a wealth of experience to the Agudah, including eight years as CEO of the American and Canadian Friends of Keren Hashviis, eight years dedicated to saving Jewish teenagers as a member of the Agudah’s Iranian Rescue Committee and 28 years as a board member at Dor Yeshorim. Reb Shia is well known as the founder of the Shmitah Fund and is also one of the founders of the 2003 Simcha Guidelines which established rabbinically endorsed financial standards for weddings and co-founder of Yeshiva Ohr Reuven in Monsey.
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In his new role as CEO of Agudath Israel of America, Reb Shia Markowitz plans to raise the awareness of the important and significant role that Agudath Israel of America continues to play in the daily lives of every individual in the Jewish community.
“My goal is to get the word out, to have the Klal understand that the Agudah is the only charedi organization that is servicing the community on so many different fronts. It is the Kehillah structure of the community, as it is the address that most people point to when critical issues arise.”
Reb Shia noted that while the Agudah was started by Gedolei Yisroel, under the direction of the Chofetz Chaim and other prominent Gedolim more than 100 years ago, its existence is as vital today as ever.
“The Agudah is there for everyone,” said Reb Shia. “Wherever, whatever, whenever.”
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of the Agudah, said that he looks forward to working closely with Reb Shia as the organization continues to meet the needs of the Jewish community, advocate for its religious and civil rights, and service its constituents through charitable, educational, and social service projects across North America.
“Shia Markowitz has been one of the outstanding askanim in Klal Yisroel for many years,” said Rabbi Zwiebel. “We are fortunate indeed that he has agreed to play this major new role in Agudas Yisroel.”