Rabbi Meyer H. May


Rabbi Meyer H. May is the Executive Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museums of Tolerance, having joined the Center in the fall of 1978, its second year. In his leadership capacity, Rabbi May has traveled throughout the world meeting with Popes, heads of state and leading government officials, as well as some of the most prominent corporate leaders and philanthropists of our time.

As the chief development officer of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi May and his team have raised well over $800 million in support of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its multi-faceted divisions. Specifically, Rabbi May is the Center’s chief institutional advancement officer directing the Center’s capital expansion campaigns and its annual $26 million international fund-raising campaigns. He is currently guiding the $260 million capital campaign and endowment to build the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem.

Rabbi May also supervises the Center’s regional offices and all Simon Wiesenthal Center special events; coordinates major gift fund-raising with the Center’s membership development and online campaigns, and oversees its highly successful planned giving program.

Rabbi May also heads the Center’s legislative effort, which to-date, has resulted in more than $135 million in Federal, State and City appropriations to the Center and its Museums of Tolerance. In addition, he supervises the Center’s international travel missions.

He is currently focusing on the Center’s long-term endowment and on further capitalizing the Center’s Academy-Award® winning Moriah Films media division.

Rabbi May is considered one of America’s most successful institutional fundraisers and strategic thinkers. Rabbi May has been featured on the cover of Lifestyles magazines and has guided generations of global development officers who have sought his counsel for capital and operating campaigns.

Rabbi May is president emeritus of the Rabbinical Council of California and serves on a number of non-profit boards; among them Artscroll’s Mesorah Heritage Foundation, Bnos Devorah High School, and the Canadian and United Kingdom Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre. He is an honorary brother of the Jewish fraternity AEPi.

Raised on the East Coast, Rabbi May graduated in 1976 from Nova University with an M.S. in guidance and counseling. He was ordained in New York in 1977 by the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. In the Spring of 1977, Rabbi May received his Officer’s Commission and served his country as a U.S. Army Chaplain (Reserves).

Rabbi May is married to the former Shulamith Filler, Founder and Dean of Bnos Devorah High School in Los Angeles; and together they have seven married children, two married grandchildren and thirty-six terrific (and spoiled) grandchildren.

Link to profile of Rabbi May in Lifestyles, Spring 2009