Yair Szlak named new CEO of Federation CJA in Montreal

Yair Szlak

Yair Szlak, who has held various posts within Federation CJA in Montreal for more than 15 years, has been promoted to chief executive officer, effective May 1.

He replaces Deborah Corber, who stepped down in October after six years. Szlak, a skilled fundraiser, most recently served as the Federation’s chief development officer.

Before that, from 2007 to 2013, he was the director of Combined Jewish Appeal (CJA).

A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, Szlak was associated with the firm of Fogler Rubinoff in Toronto, before coming to Montreal to direct the Federation’s Bronfman Israel Experience Centre (BIEC) in 2002, where he was responsible for programming in Israel for young adults, including Birthright and March of the Living.

He then became director of operations for the campaign.


“We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and exemplary professional to steward us into the next century of the organization,” said Federation president David Amiel.

“Yair’s passion for the vibrancy of our community and Jewish peoplehood stems from his youth in Israel, was ignited by his own Birthright experience and harnessed over 15 years in professional leadership roles at Federation CJA and the BIEC.”

Amiel credits Szlak for being personally responsible for securing millions of dollars annually for CJA over the past decade.

“As well, he has been instrumental in leading the Centennial Campaign (which was held in conjunction with the Federation’s 100th anniversary last year) and helping the ambitious goal of $180 million in new commitments to be surpassed,” stated Amiel.

Moshe Ben-Shach, who has been acting as interim CEO, will continue to serve as chief operation officer after May 1.