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Gideon Taylor

Adjunct Professor of Law

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Mr. Taylor is a law graduate of Trinity College Dublin and received a B.C.L.(master’s degree in law) from Oxford University. He is admitted as an attorney in the State of New York, Ireland and the United Kingdom. 
 
Mr. Taylor commenced his career in 1990 at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the overseas humanitarian arm of the American Jewish community where, from 1994, he served as Assistant Executive Vice President. He was responsible for property restitution and other programs in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union.  He also oversaw JDC’s International Development Program which implemented major disaster relief and development programs in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
 
He went on to serve as Executive Vice President of the Conference on Jewish Material
Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) from 2000 to 2009. The Claims Conference is responsible for recovering former Jewish Holocaust-era property and compensation and for distributing Holocaust restitution and compensation to Nazi victims as well as promoting Holocaust education. He led the expansion of the organization from an annual budget of $300 million per year to annual budgets of $600 million to a billion dollars during his tenure. He managed an international staff of 250-400 operating from 15 offices. He oversaw a series of negotiations regarding Holocaust-era compensation and restitution with foreign governments such as Germany and Austria as well as the banking, insurance and manufacturing sectors.  Negotiations in that period included those leading to the establishment of the $5 billion German Foundation, “Remembrance,
Responsibility, and the Future” which provided compensation for former slave and forced laborers. He also supervised a program for recovery of unclaimed Jewish property in former East Germany through claims for, and sales of, buildings and land. He expanded a worldwide allocations program that reached $150 million annually for social assistance and Holocaust education programs to 700 agencies worldwide.
 
From 2009 to 2012 he served at the JDC as Chief Operating Officer, Program & Budget where he managed the global program and the $250 million budget of the organization. In 2012, he assumed the role of Executive Vice President of Earle W. Kazis Associates, a family commercial real estate company.
 
In 2013, in a lay capacity, he became Chair of Operations of the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO).  The WJRO is the representative of world Jewry in pursuing claims for the recovery of Jewish properties seized during the Holocaust in Eastern Europe and it is active in 12 countries including Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Baltics. Recent developments include the passage of legislation regarding heirless Jewish property in Serbia, former Jewish communal property in Latvia, and social welfare payments for Holocaust survivors from Poland.    
He also serves as Co-Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland and as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Jewish Community Relations Council.
 
His publications include: 
“Private International Law – The Doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens in Ireland,” Dublin University Law Journal, 1988
“Administrative Law – Bodies Subject to Judicial Review,” Irish Law Times, 1991
“Where Morality Meets Money,” essay in Holocaust Restitution, New York University Press, 2006
“Holocaust-Era Reparations,” essay in For the Sake of Humanity, Nijhoff Publishers,
2006
“The Claims Conference and the Historic Jewish Efforts for Holocaust-Related
Compensation and Restitution,” essay (co-author) in Reparations for Victims Genocide,
War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity – Systems in Place and Systems in the
Making, Nijhoff Publishers, 2009
 
In addition, Mr. Taylor writes for the media on a periodic basis including articles in Newsweek, The Hill and New York Jewish Week.