Posted in .

Mountain States Spotlight with Regional Director of Development Michael Rudnick

  • June 12, 2018

The ADL Mountain States Regional office welcomes its new Director of Development Michael Rudnick.

How did you first become involved in ADL? How are you involved now?

I became more familiar with ADL when I joined the Jewish-Catholic Dialogue some three years ago, but have long been aware of ADL’s mission and work.

What do you do in your professional life?

By profession, I have a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of South Africa, and by vocation, I have been fundraising since about 1993.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always dreamt of being a writer and still have the urge to publish a novel.

Where were you born? From where do your ancestors hail?

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and am of Jewish-Lithuanian heritage. I immigrated to the US in 1986.

What’s your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving, because it transcends religious and ethnic differences and provides a focus for the expression of gratitude. I also love turkey and am the designated turkey maker in our house.

What’s your favorite food?

It would be a coin toss between a juicy bone-in ribeye and fresh sushi.

What are you reading?

There are two books on my nightstand at the moment: Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut and The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene, which is a scientific exploration of the design of the cosmos, including the possibility that other universes exist alongside ours.

What’s a special place you have visited?

Several stand out. I golfed at St. Andrews in Scotland, meditated at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and ate my way through Tuscany, Italy.

What’s one thing every person should know or experience?

The joy of music.

What teacher or class stands out to you the most in your education and why?

An English teacher I had in high school that urged me to express myself through writing and encouraged me to read the classics of English literature from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Flann O’Brien and Ray Bradbury.

What are you passionate about personally? What can’t you stop talking about?

Right now, as a country, I feel we have lost our way. I want us to restore a culture of optimism, open-mindedness and an appreciation for diversity.

Where can we find you when you’re not working?

On the golf course or hanging out with my family (including our dogs) near a body of water

What would be impossible for you to give up?

Both music and reading feed my soul.

If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

Writing, especially creative composition.

Tell me a story that immediately pops into your mind that was a defining or significant moment for you.

Deciding to emigrate was a watershed moment for me. I was very attached to my family and approaching them to discuss the issue brought out all sorts of emotions.  For several weeks I went back and forth in my own mind, and then made the mental leap to the conviction that that I was equipped and prepared to give up everything  familiar to me and make the leap into the unknown.

Why do you choose to make a financial investment in ADL?

I am investing myself into the ADL mission, which I believe has assumed an importance and relevance that has never been more acute than it is now.

Complete this sentence: For me, the ADL is …

… is one of the key organizations that will help our divided, bewildered nation find its way back to its true greatness, not what passes for “greatness” in political sloganeering and self-congratulatory rhetoric.