Stuart Wachs, the first president and CEO of the Jewish Community Association, will leave that position on Jan. 31, 2017, according to a statement issued Dec. 12 by the JCA after a meeting of the board.
“Stuart has an unbelievable drive and passion that’s second to none,” Steve Schwarz, JCA’s outgoing board chair, said at the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center on Dec. 11 (related story at right). “People don’t realize the depths of the challenges we faced four or five years ago when he came in here and had to turn it around. He did it with optimism and perseverance throughout the entire time. Stuart, I have an unbelievable respect for your passion and work ethic.”
The challenges were recession-fueled financial struggles that led Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix and VOSJCC leaders to decide in 2011 to create the Association. The Federation merged into the newly created Association and the VOSJCC also was consolidated into the JCA as a