Mass. real estate entrepreneur elected president of American Jewish Committee

In Massachusetts resident and real estate entrepreneur has been elected president of the American Jewish Committee, a major international advocacy organization, officials said Tuesday.

Michael L. Tichnor of Wayland will succeed Harriet P. Schleifer, whose three-year term as president recently ended, the American Jewish Committee said in a statement.

Tichnor said he was “honored and humbled to take on this most meaningful role at AJC, an organization which exemplifies courage, strength, diplomacy and action.”

“From its founding in 1906, AJC has stood up for the Jewish people and Israel time and time again, and today is no different,” Tichnor said in the statement. “The founders of AJC used the motto ‘Let us prove strong for the sake of our people.’ During these complex, threatening and challenging times, I know that AJC leaders and supporters join me in saying that ‘we MUST prove strong for the sake of our people, our children and grandchildren.’ ”

Tichnor did not immediately respond to an interview request late Tuesday afternoon.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Boston College Law School, Tichnor has been involved with the AJC since 1997 and joined its New England Regional Board in 2002, becoming regional president in 2009, according to the statement. He has also served on the organization’s board of governors, executive council, and succession committee.

David Harris, chief executive of the American Jewish Committee, said Tichnor knows the organization inside and out as few lay leaders do.

“At a time of transition here, this knowledge, as well as the high esteem in which he’s held by both volunteers and staff, could not be more timely and needed,” Harris said in the statement. “If ever there was the right person for the right moment, it’s Michael Tichnor. AJC’s future is in the best of hands. ”

Tichnor was the founder and president of Tichnor Properties Inc., a private industrial and commercial real estate company based in Nashua, NH, and is now a private investor. He served two terms on Wayland’s Select Board and was twice elected chairman, and he was a member of Wayland’s Finance Committee, the AJC said.

He has also been involved with Jewish organizations such as Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Metrowest Jewish Day School, Congregation Or Atid, and OneinForty, which works to raise awareness about increased cancer risks for Ashkenazi Jews, according to the statement.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.

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