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Saturday, October 25, 2014

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Hamilton Jewish Federation hires new CEO

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Barb Babij

HAMILTON — The president of the Hamilton Jewish Federation said the organization had no choice but to hire its new CEO.

“Barb Babij was so superior in most of the criteria. We had to have her,” Larry Szpirglas said. “She has great organizational skills, strong administration skills. She is taking the time to reach out to leadership in our community and is doing a wonderful job in that respect.

“She will be a strong professional presence and provide exemplary leadership in our community.”

Babij came on board in November. Before that, she was a consultant in organizational development in Fort Erie, Ont.  She is a CPA in New York state and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, where she’s lived since 1992.

“I wanted to be part of a larger Jewish community. I wanted to be able to give back to the community and do it in a Jewish way. This was a perfect fit,” said Babij of her decision to join the Hamilton federation.

Other than living in Dundas for one year in the early 1990s, Babij is new to Hamilton, which is home to about 5,000 Jews.

“This is an extremely welcoming community. The best part of my job so far is, hands down, the people. They are so open and doing amazing things,” said Babij, citing the PR committee, which strives to educate the broader community on Jewish issues, and the nationally recognized Holocaust education committee.

Babij believes the Hamilton federation needs to be more transparent.

“We need to do a better job educating people about our organization. Unless the federation is seen as part of the community, it’s not going to do what it needs to do,” she said.

“It’s all about being able to help people in the community, in Hamilton and in Israel.”

Babij says her first priority has been to get acquainted with the community.

“I am listening and trying to understand where the community feels the path forward goes and how to get there.”

Babij replaces longtime federation CEO Gerald Fisher, who stepped down last summer for health reasons. HAMILTON — The president of the Hamilton Jewish Federation said the organization had no choice but to hire its new CEO.

“Barb Babij was so superior in most of the criteria. We had to have her,” Larry Szpirglas said. “She has great organizational skills, strong administration skills. She is taking the time to reach out to leadership in our community and is doing a wonderful job in that respect.

“She will be a strong professional presence and provide exemplary leadership in our community.”

Babij came on board in November. Before that, she was a consultant in organizational development in Fort Erie, Ont.  She is a CPA in New York state and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, where she’s lived since 1992.

“I wanted to be part of a larger Jewish community. I wanted to be able to give back to the community and do it in a Jewish way. This was a perfect fit,” said Babij of her decision to join the Hamilton federation.

Other than living in Dundas for one year in the early 1990s, Babij is new to Hamilton, which is home to about 5,000 Jews.

“This is an extremely welcoming community. The best part of my job so far is, hands down, the people. They are so open and doing amazing things,” said Babij, citing the PR committee, which strives to educate the broader community on Jewish issues, and the nationally recognized Holocaust education committee.

Babij believes the Hamilton federation needs to be more transparent.

“We need to do a better job educating people about our organization. Unless the federation is seen as part of the community, it’s not going to do what it needs to do,” she said.

“It’s all about being able to help people in the community, in Hamilton and in Israel.”

Babij says her first priority has been to get acquainted with the community.

“I am listening and trying to understand where the community feels the path forward goes and how to get there.”

Babij replaces longtime federation CEO Gerald Fisher, who stepped down last summer for health reasons.

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