The Baltimore Jewish Council named Howard Libit its next executive director on Thursday, Dec. 17.
Libit is currently the treasurer of the BJC and the public affairs chief and director of strategic planning and policy at the office of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
The BJC voted unanimously for Libit to succeed executive director Art Abramson at a board meeting Thursday. Libit will start his position in May, and there will likely be overlap with Abramson, whose contract is up June 30.
Libit, 43, said he is excited to work on behalf of the Jewish community.
“Our community has great diversity, and I think [this is an] opportunity to take advantage of that, build on it and help all of us understand that our similarities and our values and what we’re seeking are greater than our differences,” he said. “The BJC has a great track record of success of bringing resources in to our community on behalf of The Associated and its agencies as well as advocating on behalf of the greater Baltimore Jewish community. I’d really like to build on that and continue to expand and continue to make new relationships and strengthen the current ones we have.”
The Highland Park, Ill., native moved to Baltimore after graduating from Stanford University in 1994. He worked at The Baltimore Sun, where he held positions as reporter, city editor and assistant managing editor of news. When he stepped down in 2009 to go into public relations, he joined the BJC’s leadership development program and was a member of the 2009-2010 class.
He served on the BJC’s Metropolitan Issues Commission prior to joining the executive board three-and-a-half years ago as assistant secretary. He served a two-year term in that capacity before becoming treasurer.
BJC first vice president Abba David Poliakoff said Libit was picked out of a couple dozen applicants that he and a search committee considered for the position.
“Howard is and has been very involved in the Jewish community, in the Baltimore Jewish council, in his synagogue, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and all things Jewish generally,” Poliakoff said. “In addition, he’s got the experience of somebody involved in public relations, community relations and communications generally. So it seemed like a natural fit of blending those qualities together for the Jewish community.”
Abramson wished Libit the best.
“I think he will be a solid successor,” he said.
Martha Weiman, past president of the BJC and chair of the organization’s Interfaith Dialogue, said Libit is a wonderful choice.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Howard on the board of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, on the executive board at the Baltimore Jewish Council, and I think he comes with qualifications where the learning curve for somebody coming from the outside won’t exist for him,” she said. “He knows the community, he knows the state, he knows all the players.”