05-Neil Bronstein, Mike Balanoff and Ellen Weinstein - IMG_0184Michael Balanoff appointed Jewish Federation of CNY president/CEO and Jewish Community Foundation of CNY executive director
By Barbara S. Davis

The boards of directors of the Jewish Federation of Central New York and the Jewish Community Foundation of CNY have announced the appointment of attorney Michael Balanoff as the new Jewish Federation president/CEO and the Jewish Community Foundation executive director as of November 1.

Balanoff has been an active leader in the Jewish and general communities for many decades. He served for many years as the chair of the Federation’s Community Relation Committee, which is responsible for representing the Jewish community in intergroup and interreligious relations, as well as attending to the security and well-being of the Jewish community here and abroad. He is a past president of the Jewish Community Center, Temple Beth El and the Syracuse Jewish Federation. He is a Vietnam veteran who was awarded a bronze star for his service in the U.S. Army.

Federation President Ellen Weinstein said, “We are thrilled to have Michael at the helm. He has held positions of leadership on the boards of a number of Federation’s beneficiary agencies and has been involved professionally in the not-for-profit sector of the community at large. As an active member of Federation’s board and as its Community Relations Committee chair, he has the knowledge and the passion to well serve and steer us on the steady course charted by our mission and Linda Alexander’s outstanding legacy of leadership. I look forward to working with him.”

In accepting the appointment, Balanoff said, “Leading the Jewish Federation of Central New York and the Jewish Foundation of Central New York gives me the opportunity to effect important and lasting change at a time when we are faced with significant challenges. I hope to move us in a direction which will enhance our services and bring our kids back. I look forward to working with anyone who shares our values and seeks to help our Jewish community remain a vital and integral part of the central New York community.”

 Linda Alexander, whom Balanoff is succeeding, expressed confidence in Balanoff’s ability to run Federation and the Foundation, and said, “Michael has the important skills to excel in both roles. He has years of successful Jewish community leadership on many Jewish boards, serving often as the president. Even more importantly, his judgment and his ability to bring people together and build consensus is exemplary. I have full confidence that he will bring our Federation and Foundation to new heights.” 

Balanoff is a founder and past president of the Central New York Bankruptcy Bar Association and practiced before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, where he is on a select panel of mediators and arbitrators. He was a partner in the law firm of Bousquet Holstein, formerly Green and Seifter. In addition, he has lectured for bar association groups and accountants regarding all aspects of bankruptcy law. He is leaving his position as director of development at Legal Services of Central New York, where he is responsible for fund-raising and public relations to assume his responsibilities at Federation and the Foundation. He and his wife Eunice are the parents of three sons, Jared, Brian and Noah, and have six grandchildren.


(L-R): Chair of the Jewish Community Foundation of CNY Neil Bronstein and  Chair of the Jewish Federation of CNY Ellen Weinstein looked on as Michael Balanoff signed the contract to assume the positions of president/CEO of the Jewish Federation of CNY and executive director of the  Jewish Community Foundation of CNY effective on No