JUF News | Herbert S. Wander, longtime community leader and philanthropist
Former JUF board chairman and chairman of the JUF’s annual campaign, Wander died on May 23 at the age of 86.
In 1993, Wander chaired the annual JUF campaign, raising $ 53.7 million – and an additional $ 17 million for Operation Exodus II, aimed at continuing the rescue and resettlement of Jews from behind the fallen Iron Curtain. .
Prior to chairing the JUF’s annual campaign, Wander chaired the JUF Board of Directors from 1981 to 1983 and the Jewish Community Relations Council from 1984 to 1986. Over the decades, he served on several committees, working on issues. ranging from youth services to city-wide budgeting.
“Herb Wander was a dear friend and role model for many,” said Dr. Steven B. Nasatir, Executive Vice President of JUF. “His wise leadership and direct involvement in major events and issues in Jewish life set a high standard. He will always be remembered with great affection and respect.
Wander was also a leader in the national Jewish community. In 1970, he was chosen to be the regional chairman of the National Cabinet of Young Leaders of what are now the Jewish Federations of North America. In 1985, he joined the executive committee of the National Advisory Council on Jewish Community Relations and became chairman of its anti-apartheid committee in 1987, leading a mission in South Africa during the years when Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
Caring for the people of Israel was a major goal for Wander, right from his high school years. “I remember everyone meeting at the JCC, seeing pictures of internally displaced people living in tents in terrible conditions in Israel; the community was alerted that they were going to be personally solicited for the UJA at that time, ”he said in an interview with the JUF Oral History Project. “This is my first awareness of Israel, it has had an indelible effect on me.”
He has led numerous missions to Israel over the years, including a trip with Senator Mark Kirk, but said his proudest trip was to take his grandchildren there.
Passionate about meeting the health care needs of underserved people of all faiths, in 1991 Wander became a director and vice chairman of the Michael Reese Health Trust. He was also vice-chairman of the Council for Jewish Education.
His exceptional service to the community has been recognized over the years, from receiving the JUF Young Leadership Award in 1973 to the Shofar Award in 1993 to the JUF’s highest honor, the Julius Rosenwald Award, in 1996.
“Herb might have been short, but he was a giant man,” said JUF President Lonnie Nasatir.
A partner in the corporate law department of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Wander has been very active in the American Bar Association, chairing its business law section and serving on its corporate law committee; its working group on solicitor-client privilege; and its working committee, which wrote the influential third and fourth editions of the Guide for Corporate Directors.
Wander’s work had a national impact. In 2001, he was one of two attorneys to make a presentation to the SEC’s FD Regulatory Roundtable. And in 2004, he served on the SEC’s Government Business Forum on Capital Formation for Small Businesses and was appointed co-chair of the SEC advisory committee examining the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley anti-fraud law on small businesses. public enterprises.
Born in Cincinnati, Wander graduated from the University of Michigan. He received his law degree from Yale Law School and, from 1982 to 1986, served on the executive committee of the Yale Law School Association.
Wander is survived by his wife, Karen H. Wander (née Kart), and predeceased by his wife Ruth Wander (née Fell). He is also survived by his children, Daniel (Ruth Freedman) Wander, Susan (Richard) Sorkin and Lois Wander, his stepchildren Brian Aronson and Julie (Darin) Muehling, and eight grandchildren. He was the dear brother of Arden (Irene) Wander.
Herb Wander was a gold donor to the annual JUF campaign. Commemorations can be made at the Herbert S. Wander Fund of the Michael Reese Health Trust or at the JUF. Arrangements were made by the Chicago Jewish funeral.