haresh shah

Haresh Shah, of Wilmington, Delaware, will take over as president of JAINA on Jan. 1. The Indian American leader is keenly interested in encouraging meaningful participation of the younger generation. (photo provided)

As was widely expected, Haresh Shah of Wilmington, Delaware, the current first vice president, has won the election for the presidency of JAINA. The Indian American leader will assume his two-year term as JANA president on Jan. 1, said a press release.

JAINA is the acronym for the Federation of Jain Associations in North America, an umbrella organization of 72 Jain Centers representing 150,000 members in U.S. and Canada; with a mission to preserve, practice, and promote Jain Dharma and Jain way of life. It was founded in 1981with the guidance and blessings of Gurudev Shri Chitrabhanuji and Acharya Shri Sushil Muni, the release noted.

JAINA is the largest organization of Jains outside India, representing Jains of all sects without the distinctions of sects, languages, or the region of their origin.

Shah, 56, born in Mandvi, Kutch, has been an active member of JAINA since 2005, serving as chair of the membership committee, regional V.P., secretary, and the first V.P. He is a visionary leader, said the release, committed to the unity of Jains and keenly interested in encouraging meaningful participation of the younger generation. He was most recently the convener of the 2021 JAINA convention – the first global online event enjoyed by 15,000 Jains from 21 countries.

As president, Shah has promised to make JAINA more of a service organization. He plans to create a National Mentoring Program for Jains of sharing with their local community their greatest asset – education by volunteering to teach disadvantaged youth. He also has a plan to help an estimated 800 newly arriving Jain students for higher education from India by reaching out to them early on.

His new team of executive members includes Bindesh Shah of Florida as the first V.P., Atul Shah of Chicago as the secretary, and Ketu Sheth of Florida as the treasurer.

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