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Mayor's spokesman to become director of Baltimore Jewish Council

Howard Libit will replace Arthur C. Abramson at Baltimore Jewish Council.

The Baltimore Jewish Council, a non-profit that advocates on issues of concern to the Jewish community, has named Howard Libit, the top spokesman for Baltimore's mayor, as its director.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's director of public affairs, strategic planning and policy, Libit will replace Arthur C. Abramson, who is retiring from the job after 25 years. A spokeswoman for the organization said Abramson is pursuing a new job opportunity.

Libit, who was paid $132,000 at City Hall, will start his new job in May, he said. Abramson was paid about $190,000 annually, according to the organization's latest tax filings.

"It's been an honor to serve Mayor Rawlings-Blake," Libit said. "I'm looking forward to continuing to serve the city through the spring."

Baltimore Jewish Council Board President Lainy LeBow-Sachs said in a statement she believes Libit's "leadership will ensure that the Baltimore Jewish Council will build on our region's strong relationships while continuing to expand the Jewish community's long record of accomplishments. ... Art leaves with an impressive legacy."

Libit participated in the organization's leadership development program in 2009 and has served as a board member since. He said he believes that "diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and I look forward to continue building bridges and emphasizing that our shared priorities and values are more significant than our differences."

Before working at City Hall, Libit was chief operating officer at Kearney O'Doherty Public Affairs, where he worked in communications for large companies and non-profit organizations on high-profile political issues. He also spent 15 years as a reporter and editor at the Baltimore Sun, including as an assistant managing editor for news.

Libit grew up in Highland Park, Ill., and is a graduate of Stanford University.

Baltimore's primary elections are scheduled for April 26. Rawlings-Blake has said she is not seeking another term in office.

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