Hannah Rosenthal, one of only three women ever to head a major Jewish organization that’s not exclusively female, has resigned as executive director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JGPA). Rosenthal, who since 2000 had led this national community relations organization, left to become executive director of the Chicago Foundation for Women. A Democrat who served as Midwest regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Clinton, Rosenthal has been a vocal proponent of anti-poverty programs, and a critic of faith-based initiatives and tax cuts. These positions, which Rosenthal has equated with Jewish values of social justice, may have rubbed some in the Jewish Federation world the wrong way According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, James Tisch, president and CEO of Loews
Corporation and former chair of the United Jewish Communities, one of JCPA’s major funding sources, had complained that social welfare issues fell outside the realm of Jewish communal concerns.