Community Briefs: Weitzman Moves, AJC Responds

Arthur Sandman. Photo by Perry Bindelglass

The Weitzman Announces Leadership Moves
The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History announced the appointment of a chief of staff and the moves of two longtime staffers into expanded roles.

Arthur Sandman was appointed chief of staff, while Emily August is now chief public engagement officer and Kristen Kreider is now managing director, business operations.

Sandman takes over for Susan Weiss, who served in the role for nearly nine years and is now chief of staff for the Jewish Museum in New York.

As chief of staff, Sandman, who began on Feb. 1, will work closely with and advise the museum’s president and CEO with a focus on governance and board relations, as well as help to lead and align the museum team as it grows its staff and plans for reopening and for its future.

Emily August. Photo by Jessi Melcer

Sandman has spent his career in leadership roles at Jewish organizations, including Jewish Agency International Development, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest and UJA-Federation of New York. Most recently, he was executive vice president of Jewish Agency International Development, where he oversaw the operations relating to the agency’s efforts to foster relations with Jewish Federations and with individual supporters.

Meantime, August and Kreider, both of whom began their tenures with the museum in 2010, move into expanded roles.

August has held roles in programming and communications at the museum throughout her tenure. She works to ensure the museum’s goals for awareness, engagement and attendance are met through communications and programming strategies.

In addition, August has played key roles including producing major public events, such as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 2019 “Only in America” induction ceremony and serving as program director for the annual national Jewish American Heritage Month effort.

Kristen Kreider. Photo by Beth Heaney

Since the museum’s 2010 opening Kreider has served as creative director and administrative supervisor of the museum store. She is responsible for curating, sourcing, buying and merchandising the store’s 3,500 items and maintains relationships with 375-plus vendors.

During the pandemic, Kreider transitioned to an e-commerce model for the store.

AJC Responds to Oxford School Board Member Remarks About Immigrants
The American Jewish Committee Philadelphia/SNJ Latino Jewish Coalition responded on Feb. 3 to remarks Oxford Area School District board member Jennifer Kehs made at a Jan. 18 meeting where she appeared to blame immigrant children for a decline in the district’s performance.

Kehs, who was speaking about a revision to a policy regarding homeless students, said the school district’s rank of 369 out of 707 might be the cause, reported.
“Those people may potentially continue on this downward trend, as we have people coming into our school district who don’t speak any English, who have no schooling in America,” Kehs said.

AJC issued several responses.

“The comments by Oxford Area School District member Jennifer Kehs blaming undocumented immigrants for the district’s rankings is ignorant and reprehensible,” the coalition said in a statement. “Othering a group of students creates a hostile atmosphere where hatred can fester. Creating an unfriendly environment toward immigrants anywhere but especially in schools cannot be tolerated.”

“My family came to this country and they struggled to make a better life for me in Philadelphia,” said Anthony Rosado, a coalition co-chair. “We must ensure that America is a welcoming place for everyone seeking to become part of our nation seeking better opportunities for their families.”


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