David H. Chaifetz
David H. Chaifetz practiced corporate law for 36 years until he retired from his position in 2004 as vice president, general counsel and secretary for Praxair, Inc. in Danbury. His primary practice areas were antitrust, corporate law and international law. He started his career as staff attorney for Chrysler Corporation in Detroit, and in the mid 70's, moved to Fairfield after accepting a position with Union Carbide Corporation in New York City which later spun off its industrial gases division as Praxair, Inc.
Born in Worcester Massachusetts, David received his bachelor's degree from Clark University in Worcester in 1965 and went on to Boston College Law School to earn his J.D. in 1968. During the years he actively practiced law, David was a member of a number of professional associations such as the American Bar Association, Michigan Bar Association, Connecticut Bar Association, and Westchester-Fairfield Corporate Counsel Association where he served on the board and as president. He was a member of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association Board of directors during the 1990s.
David and Edith became actively involved with Fairfield University in 2001 when they worked together with Ellen M. Umansky, Ph.D. who is Fairfield's Carl Dorothy Bennett chair in Judaic Studies and director of the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies to create an annual Scholar-in-Residence program. This program brings prominent scholars on various Jewish topics to teach classes on campus, to make public lectures in the Fairfield community and interact with University faculty and administration.
David and his wife, Edith lived in Fairfield for over 35 years raising three children before moving to Sarasota, Florida in 2005. They now have eight grandchildren. Both David and Edith are serving on Fairfield's College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board.
Since retirement, David has served on a number of non-profit, community boards. He is currently on the boards of Clark University, the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Federation, the Bridgeport Jewish Community Foundation and serves as vice chair for the Sarasota Opera. Together with his wife, he co-chairs the National Council of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Sarasota Florida. He is also active with the Van Wezel Foundation which supports integrative arts education, school time performances, and community outreach for the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota.