July 14, 2015 07:00 ET

David Rosenn Appointed Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - July 14, 2015) - The Board of Directors of the Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS) has announced the appointment of Rabbi David Rosenn as Executive Director, beginning September 1, 2015. HFLS provides a range of interest-free microfinance loans and education programs that help New Yorkers address pressing financial needs and achieve economic independence.

"David is a visionary leader who cares deeply about the Jewish community. He brings 20 years of deep experience and resounding success in overseeing operations, fundraising, board and staff development, and programming for Jewish non-profit organizations," said Vivian Mamelak, Board President of the Hebrew Free Loan Society. "We are delighted he will be leading us forward to expand the reach and impact our interest-free loans have in helping New Yorkers who lack access to financial resources."

HFLS provides education programs and interest-free microfinance loans to help families faced with a sudden crisis they can't afford, immigrants train in a new profession, entrepreneurs start or expand a business, students needing education loans, and parents of disabled children access expensive special-education services, among others. Since its founding in 1892, the Hebrew Free Loan Society has loaned more than $270 million -- all interest-free -- benefitting more than 870,000 New Yorkers, with over 99-percent of loans repaid in full.

"Mutual responsibility is the principle at the heart of the Hebrew Free Loan Society and I am enormously excited to step into a chain of leadership that has worked with determination and creativity to make this real through the tools of interest-free lending and support for entrepreneurship," said Rosenn. "Whether you call it gemilut hasadim (interest-free lending) or microfinance, the Hebrew Free Loan Society has been on the front lines of ensuring that New Yorkers have what it takes to build a decent and dignified life. It's a 123 year-old organization with a 3,000-year old practice. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the Board, the staff, our borrowers and supporters to demonstrate what mutual responsibility and interest-free lending look like as we move farther into the 21st century."

Rosenn was most recently Executive Vice President of The New Israel Fund, an international public charity with over $30 million in annual revenues. Previously, Rosenn was Founder and Director of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. He created and led the well-known and highly-regarded service program, which aids the Jewish community's fight against poverty by engaging participants in service work and community building.

Rosenn previously served as a chaplain for The Momentum AIDS Project in New York and as a hospital chaplain at Beth Israel Medical Center. He graduated from Harvard University and holds a Master's degree in Hebrew Letters from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS), where he was ordained in 1997.

Rosenn replaces Shana Novick who retired in June. He and his wife, Jennie, live in Manhattan with their two sons.

About HFLS
Primarily serving the Jewish community, the Hebrew Free Loan Society fosters economic self-sufficiency and economic security among New Yorkers in need through interest-free lending. HFLS currently has approximately $11 million in outstanding interest-free loans that are being used to fund microenterprise and small businesses, college tuition and student aid, Jewish continuity, emergency aid and a range of basic human needs.

We do this work in partnership with others to ensure that our programs respond to identified needs, that we are nimble in adapting to the dynamic changes in our community, and that we make a discernable difference in the lives of those we serve. The Hebrew Free Loan Society is a beneficiary agency of UJA-Federation of New York. To learn more please visit us at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @hebrewfreeloan.

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  • Media contact:
    Debbie Albert