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Board of Friends
Vilnius University students in a history lecture by Professor Meir Shub in the Richard Maullin Study Hall at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute.
Board of The Friends of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute
Richard Maullin, Ph. D.
President of the Friends of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute
Richard Maullin is a founding partner of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates, a public opinion research firm that focuses primarily on public policy issues. Dr. Maullin has served as the principal researcher on numerous opinion research, strategic planning and communications projects including adoption of the Martin Luther King holiday. Dr. Maullin, who has managed successful gubernatorial campaigns, was California Deputy Secretary of State from 1971 to 1974 and served as Chairman of the California Energy Commission from 1975 through 1979. From 1980 to 1985, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of MCR Geothermal Corporation. He was also a member of the Social Science Research Staff at the RAND Corporation from 1965 through 1970, specializing in Latin American politics and economics. He has taught international relations at UCLA, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Regional Hillel Council. A direct descendant of the Gaon of Vilna, he made his first trip to Vilnius in 1997 for a conference on the Gaon’s bicentenary. In 2001, he laid the groundwork for the founding of the Friends of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute. In 2006, Vilnius University named the Richard Maullin Study Hall to honor Dr. Maullin’s generosity in ensuring the long-term survival of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute.
Historian & Translator, Washington DC
Executive Director, Yiddishkayt Los Angeles
Dan Opatoshu served on the Board of Directors of Yiddishkayt Los Angeles for five years, becoming its executive director in 2006. The organization strives to ensure the survival of the thousand-year legacy of Yiddish language, culture and history. His grandfather, Joseph Opatoshu (1886-1954), was one of the leading Yiddish novelists of the twentieth century, and his father, David Opatoshu (1918-1996), a famous American actor, began his acting career in the Yiddish theater. Dan toiled as a screenwriter for twenty-five years before returning to school, where he received his BA and MA in history at UCLA. He has studied Yiddish at UCLA, the YIVO summer program in New York, and the Vilnius Yiddish Institute’s summer program in Yiddish language and literature. As executive director of Yiddishkayt Los Angeles, he hopes YLA will in the future partner with the VYI on major international projects dedicated to the survival, enhancement and preservation of the Yiddish heritage.