Rabbi Meyer H. May - Executive Director

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.
As Executive Director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi May has traveled throughout the world meeting with 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 over $1.5 billion in support of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its multi-faceted divisions. Specifically, Rabbi May directs the Center’s capital expansion campaigns and its annual $28 million international fund-raising campaigns. He is currently guiding the $290 million capital campaign and $50 million 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 $175 million in Federal, State and City appropriations to the Center and its Museums of Tolerance. 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 past-President of the Rabbinical Council of California and serves on a number of non-profit boards; among them Artscroll’s Mesorah Heritage Foundation and the Canadian and United Kingdom Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and has been appointed by California’s Governor Gavin Newsom to serve on the “Governor’s Holocaust and Genocide Education Council.”

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 1978, Rabbi May received his Officer’s Commission and served as a U.S. Army Chaplain (Reserves).

Rabbi May is married to the former Shulamith Filler, a renowned educator in Los Angeles; and together they have seven children, forty-three terrific (and spoiled) grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren!

Link to profile of Rabbi May in Lifestyles, Spring 2009

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