The Lithuanian Jewish Community sends warm birthday wishes to Michael Schneider, who just turned 80.
Michael Schneider served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) from December 1987 until May 2002. In this capacity he directed one of JDC’s largest operations in the field of Rescue, Relief and Reconstruction. Schneider, who was born in South Africa, began his career with JDC in 1978 after ten years of service as Chief Welfare Officer of the London Jewish Welfare Board. His first posting was as resident Country Director for Iran where he was based during and after the Khomeini revolution. After leaving Iran he continued to work on behalf of Iranian Jewry from JDC’s offices in Rome. In December 1979 and 1980 respectively, he became Country Director for the Iron Curtain countries of Hungary and Czechoslovakia and for Yugoslavia. In 1982 he was sent to Ethiopia following the expulsion of ORT by the Mengistu regime and obtained permission for JDC to work among the Jewish villages in Gonder Province.
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