The Board of Directors and Staff of the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) mourn the loss of its longtime champion and past Chairman, Kenneth J. Bialkin.
Ken conducted a purpose-ﬁlled life as a lawyer, a longtime partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, a community activist, and as a prominent leader of the American Jewish community.
This translated into many leadership roles in the Jewish community of the U.S., including as Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, National Chairman of the Anti-Defamation League, Chairman of the American Jewish Historical Society, and President of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. Mr. Bialkin was the Chairman of the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) and Vice Chairman of both The Center for Jewish History and the Jerusalem Foundation.
In 2018, AIFL awarded Ken with a special tribute at its annual Partners for Democracy Awards Dinner for his dedication to strengthening the ties between the United States and Israel, and this year AIFL has announced the new Kenneth Bialkin Award For Leadership, an annual award in recognition of Mr. Bialkin’s leadership, to be awarded to a recognized leader who promotes commercial activity between the United States and Israel.
“Ken was a great man, one who was filled with love and respect: for life, for his family, for those who were close to him, and for his two countries – the U.S. and Israel. These were at the foundation of so much that he had achieved over his remarkable life, and which made him such a great leader of our organization. He belonged to a generation of giants, and will be sorely missed by all.”
-AIFL Chairman, Eric J. Gertler & AIFL President, Jonathan Barsade
(Kenneth J. Bialkin at the 2014 Israel Day Parade)
“If there were no anti-Semitism, and no attacks against U.S. and Israel,
if we were not singled out, maybe I’d be an assimilationist. But forces have made me conscious of my responsibilities.”
-Kenneth J. Bialkin
We extend our deepest condolences to Ken’s wife, Ann, who first accompanied Ken on a trip to Israel in 1959, to his daughters Lisa and Johanna, and grandchildren Samuel and Gideon Bialkin. May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.