Joel Rothman Elected National President of American Technion Society

Chicago area resident and estate-planning attorney Joel Rothman has been named president of the American Technion Society (ATS), which raises support for the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. Mr. Rothman, who heads his own practice, will be formally installed on October 27th during the ATS Board of Directors meeting in Detroit.

Over the years, Mr. Rothman worked with several well-known law firms specializing in charitable and business planning, and in estate and trust administration.  He started his own firm, Joel Rothman & Associates, in 1993. With equal devotion, he has lent his time and expertise to the ATS and to the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology for the past 22 years, where he has influenced and inspired others to follow suit.

Joel S. Rothman

Joel S. Rothman
ATS National President

Mr. Rothman assumes the top ATS lay leadership role amid a tenuous economic and political climate at home and abroad, but is poised to take on the charge of steering the organization through rough waters.

“Joel’s devotion, intelligence and energy exemplify the outstanding qualities of our best leaders,” says ATS President Joan Seidel of Los Angeles, who will become Chairman of the Board when Mr. Rothman becomes president. “I have no doubt that he’s the right choice for these challenging times.”

As president, Mr. Rothman will help set the direction and development of the ATS, working to develop new strategic plans and attract new supporters.

"Joel is an extremely gifted and dedicated leader,” says Melvyn H. Bloom, ATS executive vice president.  “His insight, enthusiasm and wide-ranging experience will be invaluable as we continue to work together to guide the ATS to help shape the crucial role of the Technion in the future of Israel and the world.”

Planned giving was involved with Mr. Rothman’s first contact with the ATS in 1987, when he helped settle an estate that included a bequest to the organization.  During that time, he recalls, he became aware of three things about the Technion that impressed him, namely, “its importance to the independence of Israel, the positive contribution of its research to all our lives, and the personal warmth of its supporters.”

Mr. Rothman has since held a long list of key positions, serving as president of the Chicago Chapter and chairing a number of committees on the ATS national Board of Directors including the Planned Giving Committee, and his current role as chair of the Budget Committee. He is also a member of the Technion International Board of Governors.

His leadership as chair of the first ATS Planned Giving mission to Israel in 1987 gave rise to 20 more such missions over the years, two more of which he chaired. He also chaired the ATS 2008 Discovery Mission. His involvement in his local Chicago Chapter has included service as treasurer, vice president and then president.

Mr. Rothman’s willingness to tackle new and challenging projects is especially important now. As the ATS, like all nonprofit organizations, grapples with the effects of an economic downturn, he remains steadfast in his confidence that the ATS will forge ahead.

“No organization could be better positioned in terms of structure and leadership to persist during this challenging period,” he says. “And our mission could not be timelier in terms of its benefits to Israel and the world.”

“I’m honored and gratified and sure, a bit overwhelmed too, by the quality of leadership that I’m succeeding,” he says.  “Joan Seidel and Chairman of the Board Dr. Stephen Laser are not easy acts to follow.  I’m also looking forward to working closely with the ATS professional staff, a group I believe to be one of the finest and most talented in the philanthropic world.”

Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel. The ATS has raised more than $1.5 billion since its inception in 1940, with 47% of that generated in the last 9 years.  A nationwide membership organization with offices around the country, the ATS is driven by the belief that the economic future of Israel is in high technology, and the future of high technology in Israel is at the Technion.


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