Mark Abbott, Bradley I. Ruskin Honored by JTS with Judge Rifkind Award

Press Contact: Tom Hopkins
Office: (212) 678-8950

March 22, 2017, New York, NY

Two leading attorneys, both distinguished for their work in sports business and their extensive volunteer service, will be honored this year with The Jewish Theological Seminary’s Judge Simon H. Rifkind Award. Mark Abbott, president and deputy commissioner of Major League Soccer, and Bradley I. Ruskin, partner at Proskauer and member of the firm’s Executive Committee, will be recognized at the 22nd annual Rifkind Award Luncheon on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. The event will take place at noon at The Pierre, Fifth Avenue at 61st Street, in New York City.

Mark Abbott is president and deputy commissioner of Major League Soccer. He leads and manages all areas of the organization’s operations and competition. Mr. Abbott is a primary contact in discussions with potential investors and expansion cities.

As MLS’s first employee, Mr. Abbott was the principal author of the league’s business plan, ultimately approved by FIFA as a legacy of World Cup USA 1994. He played a primary role in creating the league’s structure and negotiating with the initial investor-operator group. Prior to joining MLS, Mr. Abbott practiced law with Latham & Watkins, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and commercial law.

Mr. Abbott earned his law degree in 1989 from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was the managing editor of the California Law Review. Mr. Abbott is a 1986 graduate of Georgetown University, where he earned a bachelor of science foreign service degree in international economics, cum laude, and an honors certificate in international business diplomacy.


Abbott was a founding board member of the National Campaign Against Youth Violence, a member of the board of the Boalt Hall Alumni Association, the former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the First United Methodist Church of Greenwich, and the cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 37.

Bradley I. Ruskin is a litigation partner at Proskauer, currently serving his fourth term on the firm’s Executive Committee. He also co-chairs the firm’s market-leading sports law group and has served as co-chair of the litigation department. Mr. Ruskin has handled and tried a significant number of high profile, headline-generating cases, ranging from “bet-the company” antitrust challenges to questions of Russian constitutional and military law. 

A significant portion of his practice is dedicated to litigating issues and counseling clients active in the sports business such as MLS, the NHL, the NFL, the NBA, MLB, NASCAR, PAC-12, ATP World Tour, and the WTA, as well as numerous professional sports clubs. Mr. Ruskin also represents operating companies such as T-Mobile, Henry Schein, and Sanofi.

He currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Legal Aid Society and is also a director of the Young Women’s Leadership Network, with particular focus on its College Bound Initiative.  Mr. Ruskin graduated from Brown University and New York University of Law.  

About the Rifkind Award

The Judge Simon H. Rifkind Award was established at JTS in 1996 in recognition of Judge Rifkind’s exemplary life, which was marked by professional preeminence, distinguished public service, and unstinting devotion to the Jewish community. A graduate of JTS’s Teachers Institute (now List College), Judge Rifkind served as chairman of the JTS Board from 1963 until 1972.

Advance reservations are required. For additional information, please contact Michele Carlin at (212) 678-8935 or RSVP at