Today we are spotlighting Marc Brown – a Jewish community leader who cares deeply about Jewish Buffalo and the entire WNY region. A member of the Buffalo Jewish Federation Board of Governors, JCRC’s Racial Justice Sub-Committee, and the Jewish Buffalo History Center Work Team, Marc is also active at Young Israel Synagogue, where he is one of the Vice Presidents of the Board, and serves as treasurer of the BVK – Buffalo’s Kashrut certification organization. Marc is also a past president of Kadimah Academy. Professionally, Marc is an attorney, and a partner at Goldberg Segalla LLP.
Originally from Buffalo, Marc graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics & Judaic Studies, and, later, a Master’s degree in Business Administration. After attending the University at Buffalo Law School, Marc worked in Rochester for several years before moving back to Buffalo in 2003. He began working for Goldberg Segalla in 2013. Marc is also an adjunct professor at UB Law School, where he teaches Real Estate Litigation. Marc currently lives in Buffalo with his wife, Shira, and three children, David, Deborah, and Joshua, all of whom attend Ohr Temimim Jewish Day School.
At Goldberg Segalla, Marc is the vice-chair of the Business and Commercial Group, in which he represents clients who are involved in disputes over real estate or business contracts. He decided to become a lawyer while he studied abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem during the Fall of 1993. While there, he interned for the Mayor of Jerusalem and the Peacewatch nonpartisan organization that monitored the recently enacted Oslo Peace Accords. “It was through those experiences where I recognized that law was the best field to effectuate change and make a positive impact on society,” Marc said.
Marc is also a member of the Niagara Business Associates, a group of business owners and senior executives in the Buffalo/Niagara region who provide a forum for professionals to share their ideas, knowledge, and experience among members. Through this organization, Marc met Herb L. Bellamy Jr., the President of Buffalo Black Achievers, Inc., an organization that recognizes achievements of Black people in the community and uses positive images to both educate and inspire. Mr. Bellamy’s father worked at a liquor store on the East Side of Buffalo, which was owned by a Jewish man named “Mr. Myles.” When Mr. Myles retired, he gave his store to Mr. Bellamy’s father, which was how he began his long career as a successful businessman. “Mr. Myles’ gesture resonated with me, given the positive interaction my family had with the Black community through their pharmacies across Buffalo over a century ago,” Marc said.
Marc then met with Shelly Yellen, Buffalo Jewish Federation President, and Rob Goldberg, Buffalo Jewish Federation CEO, to share the Buffalo Black Achievers organization and to discuss how to bridge the connection between Buffalo’s African American and Jewish communities.
Next, Marc was introduced to the Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and joined their Racial Justice Sub-Committee. He was instrumental in organizing a 2021 tour of the Black Achievers Museum for the JCRC. “Marc is a committed leader who is dedicated to making our community more just and equitable. In addition to volunteering his time, Marc helps build bridges to close the gap in Buffalo’s racial divide,” says Corey Auerbach, Racial Justice Sub-committee chair.
Through the Niagara Business Associates, Marc also connected with Scott Bieler, owner of West Herr Auto Group. Marc knew of Scott’s passion for equity and building community and shared JCRC’s vision with him. Based on Marc’s introduction of Scott to the JCRC leadership, West Herr is now a proud sponsor of the JCRC. “Diversity is very important to me,” said Marc. “I’m so excited to be a part of JCRC so that I can help make Buffalo a more inclusive space for everyone.”
Many thanks to Hannah Gabelnick for submitting today’s Spotlight. Hannah is a senior at Amherst Central High School and an intern at the Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council. She is graduating next month and will attend Princeton University in the fall.