Irwin Engelman Elected Chairman : of HUC-JIR Board of Governors

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Irwin Engelman has been elected the new Chairman of the HUC-JIR Board of Governors, effective February 9, 2010.  A member of the Board of Governors since 2005 and prominent Jewish communal leader, Mr. Engelman has spent his career in executive level management positions, frequently serving in senior roles at major corporations that were going through periods of dynamic and profound change.  He succeeds Barbara Friedman, who served as Chair since January 1, 2007.

"Irwin Engelman is a passionate advocate for the College-Institute’s mission of preparing leaders for the Reform Movement and the Jewish people," said Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President. "His expertise in finance, extensive experience leading institutional change, and commitment to the Jewish future are a source of tremendous guidance and support as we begin the implementation of our new strategic plan that will advance our mission as the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism."

Rabbi Ellenson added, "On a personal level, I am enormously grateful to Barbara Friedman for her friendship, support, and dedicated leadership as Chair for the past three years. She has been the moving force in the development of a new strategic plan that will sustain our academic excellence, help us achieve financial sustainability, and further strengthen our mission as one, integrated institution. We look forward to her continued involvement in the implementation of our “New Way Forward.”  The College-Institute has surely been and will remain blessed by her ongoing commitment and dedication to this institution and our mission."

Mr. Engelman has served HUC-JIR in a number of vitally important roles as Chair of the Audit Committee and Chair of the Task Force Oversight Committee of HUC-JIR’s Board of Governors.  He is currently the Chair of the Implementation Committee to monitor the administration’s progress in implementing “The New Way Forward.”

From 1966 through 1978, Mr. Engelman held positions of increasing responsibility at Xerox Corporation, including Vice President of Finance and Administration of U.S. copier/duplicator operations, Vice President and Regional General Manager, and Vice President and Manager of the Reprographics Business. While at Xerox, his general management experience included responsibility for a field marketing organization as well as strategic management of the worldwide copier/duplicator business.

Between 1978 and 1981, Mr. Engelman served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Singer Company, and played a central role in its turnaround, which included a significant restructuring of its balance sheet.

Thereafter from 1981 through 1987 he served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of General Foods Corporation. During 1987 and 1988 he served as Executive Vice President of The Blackstone Group, and from 1988 through 1990 served as President and Chief Financial Officer of CitiTrust Bancorporation.

Between 1990 and 1992, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of GAF Corporation. In 1992 he joined MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings, where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and also served as Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer of Revlon until 1999. Until 2002, he served as Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and a Director of YouthStream Media Networks.

Mr. Engelman’s career experience includes the negotiation of many acquisitions, divestitures and mergers, as well as the management of all financial functions, including control, treasury, tax, audit, information systems and investor relations. He has also managed many large public and private debt offerings and has participated in a number of initial public equity offerings. 

Mr. Engelman currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., eMagin Corporation and WellGen Corp. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Baruch College, is a CPA in New York and New Jersey, admitted to practice law in the state of New York, holds a Juris Doctor Degree from Brooklyn Law School, and a Doctor of Laws and Letters (honorary) from Baruch College.

A distinguished civic leader, Mr. Engelman has contributed to a number of community activities.  He has served as Trustee and Officer of Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City, and Member of the Finance Committee of the UJA of New York.  As Trustee of the Baruch College Fund from 1992 to the present, he has served as its President for three two-year terms, and has also served as Trustee of the University of Bridgeport from 1984 to 1990.  As Trustee of the National Corporate Theatre Fund from 1988 to 2007, he served as its President for five years.  He has also served as Trustee at Long Wharf Theatre from 1986 to 2004.

Mr. Engelman is married to Rosalyn A. Engelman, a prominent contemporary artist whose exhibition “Dry Tears” was exhibited at the HUC-JIR Museum in 2008 and who most recently was awarded the Lorenzo di Medici “Il Magnifico” Gold Medal at the Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea di Firenze.  They are the parents of Madeleine Engelman Cohen, married to Scott Cohen, and Marianne Engelman-Lado, married to Dr. Fred Lado, and the grandparents of Natasha Cohen, Elana Engelman-Lado, and Nathan Engelman-Lado.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu