After entering the real estate brokerage and mortgage banking business founded by his father in 1906, Jay Kislak founded the J. I. Kislak Mortgage Corporation in Miami, Florida in 1953. Today, the Kislak Organization has extensive operations in real estate and financial services. Kislak currently serves as chairman of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, an expert panel that advises the U.S. Department of State regarding the importation of cultural artifacts. He was appointed to the position in 2003 by President George W. Bush. Kislak also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Eisenhower Fellowships.
Kislak was born and educated in Hoboken, New Jersey. He received a degree in economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 1942 and immediately joined the Navy, serving as a naval aviator during World War II.
With his wife, Jean, Kislak is a respected collector of rare books, manuscripts, historic documents, maps, artifacts and art works. The Jay I. Kislak Foundation was established in 1984 to foster greater understanding of the cultures and history of the Americas. The nonprofit foundation conducts programs of research, education, exhibition and publication.more » « less