Burt Fischman

Leadership Development Campaign

For more than a quarter century, our friend, mentor and teacher, Dr. Burton Fischman, z'l, (affectionately known as Captain Ruach) taught and exemplified leadership and leadership development, so that Jewish men and the Federation of Jewish Men's Club became the best leaders that they could be.  As the co-creator, with Norm Kurtz, of the Joel A. Geffen Leadership Development Institute, named for the first Executive Director of the FJMC, this unique, yearly event, has trained thousands of Jewish men in leadership skills.  And for many years, Burt was a fixture at most FJMC Executive Committee meetings, training the International Officers in the myriad skills necessary to lead men to accomplish the goals of the organization.

By enabling all of us to exceed our own expectations and stepping forward to make the FJMC uniquely placed to bring Jewish men to Jewish life, Burt changed each of the men he met. Each and every of our international leaders has a story of his relationship with Burt and of the work they did to meet his high standards. Each of those leaders took Burt’s passion and skills back to their home congregations, from Toronto to Ft. Lauderdale, from Boston to San Diego and to all points in between.

Captain Ruach’s carefully designed mishigas with waving napkins, which evolved into regional schmatas, enticed our members to stay until the end of the Birkat, turning what had been an exodus into a simcha.  Burt brought us closer to the understanding that being a men’s club leader was not about the hard things, but about making the hard things both easy and fun. 

More than just teaching 'leadership skills,' Burt taught life skills which immeasurably enriched the personal lives of all who listened and were willing to implement the skills he taught.

Burt passed away on April 3, 2018, and in appreciation for all the years he gave of himself and his wisdom, the FJMC Foundation for Jewish Life, Inc., has launched the Burton Fischman Leadership Development Campaign to not only memorialize Burt Fischman’s accomplishments for the FJMC, but to help finance other leadership training programs of the FJMC and FJMC Foundation for Jewish Life, Inc. in the years ahead.

To make a contribution to this Campaign, use the button below, which will take you to the applicable campaign page of the FJMC.