The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU/Orthodox Union) has appointed Allen I. Fagin, a well-known attorney and former chairman of Proskauer Rose, LLP, to the position of executive vice-president and chief professional officer.
Mr. Fagin is a graduate of Yeshivat Ramaz, Columbia College, Harvard Law School, and the JFK School of Government at Harvard, where he received a JD and a master’s degree in public policy. After graduation, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Robert L. Carter, United States District Judge in the Southern District of New York. Mr. Fagin practiced law at Proskauer Rose, one of the leading international law firms, beginning in 1976, where he specialized in employment law, co-chairing Proskauer’s Labor and Employment Law Department for many years. He served as Proskauer’s chairman in 2005–2011. During that time, the firm grew to over 750 lawyers and approximately 1,500 employees, and opened offices in London, São Paulo, Chicago, and Hong Kong. Mr. Fagin retired from Proskauer at the end of 2013 in order to devote himself, as he puts it, “with far greater intensity, to communal activity.”
Rabbi Steven Weil, who preceded Mr. Fagin as executive vice-president, said, “Allen will take the Orthodox Union to places that we have never been.” Rabbi Weil, who has exhaustively traveled across North America and the world representing the OU, will now take up a senior position in institutional advancement and community engagement with the title of senior managing director, continuing what Martin Nachimson, president of the OU, called his “exemplary service” on behalf of the organization.
Mr. Fagin’s transition from lay leader to chief professional officer “represents the best of both worlds for us,” Mr. Nachimson said. “Allen is a very talented executive and attorney. . . . I expect that as executive vice-president he will usher in a new era of professional leadership at the OU.”
“I am honored to stand at the professional helm of an organization that impacts Jewish life in so many ways, both in the United States and around the globe,” Mr. Fagin said after greeting members of the OU staff at its Lower Manhattan headquarters. “My goal is to enable an extraordinary group of professionals to serve our community with even greater resources and focus.”
As an OU lay leader, Mr. Fagin served as chairman of the Orthodox Union’s Youth Commission, which supervises the work of NCSY, the OU’s famed international youth movement. Prior to that he served as chairman of the Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC), which places an educator couple on 16 campuses across the United States and Canada to encourage and facilitate the observance, commitment, and education of Orthodox students, while at the same time opening up Torah knowledge to the general Jewish student community.
Mr. Fagin is married to Judith, the former head of school at Yeshivat Ramaz, who currently serves as an educational adviser to Magen David Yeshivah. Allen and Judy have two sons and daughters-in-law; both couples reside in Woodmere. Eleven of their twelve grandchildren attend yeshivas in the Five Towns; their oldest grandson is currently studying in Israel. v