The CCAR Senior and Rabbinic Staff

 

Steven A. Fox | Hara Person | Cindy Enger | Laurie Pinho | Dan Medwin | Victor Appell | Betsy Torop

RABBI STEVEN A. FOX

Chief Executive

fox.jpgSFox@ccarnet.org

(212) 542-8777

Selected Articles:

eJewish Philanthropy: The Importance of Parsonage

eJewish Philanthropy: Making the First 100 Days Count: Rabbinic Transition

Huffington Post: The Equality Act Would Provide Comprehensive LGBT Civil Rights. It's About Time.

The Times of Israel: Politics from the pulpit on the menu for this Jewish New Year

Who is a real rabbi? Is that the real question?

One Special Moment at Biennial for One Special Person

The Complexities of Rabbinic Life

Rabbi Steven A. Fox is the Chief Executive of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the rabbinic leadership organization of Reform Judaism in North America and worldwide. Since joining the CCAR in 2006, Rabbi Fox has led the transformation of the CCAR into a 21st century organization, working to sustain and enrich the Jewish community to ensure a vibrant Jewish future.

Under Rabbi Fox’s leadership, the CCAR has renewed its focus on strengthening the Jewish community by investing in the rabbis who lead it. Since Rabbi Fox took the CCAR helm, the organization has dramatically increased its support services for rabbis, including educational and spiritual offerings to meet the personal and professional needs of the rabbinate and their communities. In addition, under Rabbi Fox, the historic CCAR Press has become the leading publisher of an expanded library of liturgy and resources for the Reform Movement, including cutting-edge e-publications.

Rabbi Fox brings a varied and rich background to his CCAR leadership. He was ordained at HUC-JIR in 1980 and his early rabbinic career included service at Temple Emanuel in Worcester, Massachusetts and Temple Isaiah in Lexington, Massachusetts. He later served as an adjunct rabbi of Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles where he focused his work on spiritual growth through Jewish meditation, contemplative practices, and study of sacred text.

Supplementing his rabbinic training, Rabbi Fox received his Juris Doctor degree to gain additional tangible business and legal skills. As a practicing attorney and managing partner in a Los Angeles based law firm, Rabbi Fox advised religious and secular non-profits, rabbis and cantors, congregations and other Jewish organizations on a variety of issues, such as contract matters, employment disputes, board relations, charitable gifts and grants, rabbinic wellness and other organizational concerns. He is also a trained mediator, helping to resolve many diverse and challenging disputes between rabbis, cantors, educators, and congregations.

Rabbi Fox has also been actively involved in raising the profile of the CCAR to its membership and the Jewish community. He has represented the CCAR at the White House on several occasions, and most recently attended both the 2013 Inauguration of President Barack Obama and the National Prayer Service. Rabbi Fox is a sought out thought-leader in the Jewish community and in the Jewish press. He is a regular contributor to RavBlog, the blog of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

A native of Los Angeles, Rabbi Fox has been married to Vicki Reikes Fox for 34 years, and they have two grown children. Vicki is a museum consultant and artist and is founding project director of the Museum of Southern Jewish History in Mississippi and the museum curator who created the current Zimmer Children’s Museum in Los Angeles. She is also the author of Shalom Y’all, Images of Jewish Life in the American South, and the illustrator of Seasons for Celebration.



RABBI HARA PERSON

Chief Strategy Officer

HPerson@ccarnet.org

(212) 542-8799

Selected Articles:

CNBC: Gay Marriage Violates Religious Rules? Not True.

Huffington Post: The Equality Act Would Provide Comprehensive LGBT Civil Rights.  It's About Time

The Forward: The Choose-Your-Own-Adventure High Holidays Prayer Book 

eJewish Philanthropy: How Far We’ve Come – and How Much Farther We Still Need to Go: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate 

Rabbi Hara Person is the Chief Strategy Officer of Central Conference of American Rabbis. In that capacity, she oversees the Communications Department, serves as Publisher of CCAR Press, and works with leadership on overall organizational strategy. She also oversees the publication of the CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly.  

Rabbi Person was ordained in 1998 from HUC-JIR, after graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College (1986) and receiving an MA in Fine Arts from New York University’s International Center of Photography (1992). Before coming to the CCAR, Rabbi Person was the Editor-in-Chief of URJ Books and Music, where she was responsible for the revision of The Torah: A Modern Commentary (2005) and the publication of many significant projects, including the Aleph Isn’t Tough adult Hebrew series and Mitkadem: Hebrew for Youth as well as several award-winning children’s books. While at URJ, she was also the Managing Editor of The Torah: A Women's Commentary, named the National Jewish Book Award Book of the Year in 2008.  

Rabbi Person is also the author of Stories of Heaven and Earth: Bible Heroes in Contemporary Children's Literature and That You May Live Long: Caring for Your Aging Parents, as well as Co-Editor of Caring for Yourself, and Editor of The Mitzvah of Healing.  Her essays and poems have been published in various anthologies and journals, including Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, upstreet, Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture, Women and Judaism, The Continuum Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature, and The Women’s Haftarah Commentary

Since 1998, Rabbi Person has been the High Holy Day Rabbi of Congregation B'nai Olam, Fire Island Pines, NY, and she has been named Adjunct Rabbi at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, where she teaches occasionally.  

Rabbi Person lives in Brooklyn, NY, and is the mother of two young adults. 

  

RABBI CINDY G. ENGER

Director of Placement

 Rabbi Cindy Enger

cenger@ccarnet.org

(212) 542-8784

 

 

Rabbinic placement is the nexus of the Reform Movement. It is the area in which the educational, congregational and rabbinic arms of the Movement collaborate most closely for the orderly, dignified and fair placement of CCAR rabbis in URJ congregations and in other positions. For this reason the CCAR has assumed the responsibility to fund and house rabbinic placement for the Reform Movement. With the complex demands on congregations, organizations and rabbis, now, more than ever, the successful matching of rabbis and congregations and organizations is essential to the future of Reform Judaism.

Rabbi Cindy Enger is delighted to join the staff of the CCAR as Director of Rabbinic Placement as of July 1, 2017. She brings a wealth of experiences to this position and, with her unique background, she understands the views of both rabbis and lay leaders in congregational life and in Jewish organizations.  Rabbi Enger is a leader who combines an understanding of vison and mission with organizational and spiritual leadership.

Rabbi Enger has served as a congregational rabbi in Bellingham, Washington, and in Chicago, as well as an organizational rabbi at the FaithTrust Institute in Seattle. At the FaithTrust Institute, she developed and directed the Jewish Program, working with both rabbis and congregations. Prior to entering the rabbinate, Rabbi Enger worked as an attorney in Chicago, first in a large law firm and later as an Associate Public Guardian on behalf of abused and neglected children and disabled adults. During that time, she served as a Temple President when her congregation entered into search for its first rabbi.

In addition to her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Rabbi Enger holds a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University. Her lifelong commitment to learning has included writing workshops, Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training, Prepare and Enrich Facilitator Training, and Clinical Pastoral Education.

Rabbi Enger has taught in a variety of settings and is the author of a number of publications in both the Jewish and secular world. Examples of this include being a presenter in the CCAR Interim Rabbi Training program on being an “after-rabbi” (following a rabbi who left due to ethical misconduct). She is the author of an Eilu VEilu column on What is the role of the rabbi in our congregations today?” (URJ, Volume 39, 2009). She co-edited the publication Domestic Abuse and the Jewish Community: Perspectives from the First International Conference, as well as A Journey Towards Freedom: A Haggadah for Women Who Have Experienced Domestic Violence (FaithTrust Institute, 2003). She served on a panel, “Contemplative Prayer and Embodied Healing,” at the Third Annual Conference on Medicine and Religion, Chicago, 2014, and delivered the Memorial Address at Princeton University’s Annual Service of Remembrance, 2012.

Rabbi Enger also has important leadership experience in the Reform Movement. This work has included, among other things, representation on the CCAR/URJ’s National Commission on Rabbinic Congregational Relationships, the CCAR/HUC-JIR Joint Commission on Mentoring, and most recently on the CCAR Ethics Process Review Task Force on Notification Issues.

Rabbi Enger is a native of St. Louis, Missouri.  She enjoys bike riding, kayaking and gardening, and delights in hiking with her dog, Max, a Great Pyrenees mix.

LAURIE PINHO

Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer

 Laurie Pinho

lpinho@ccarnet.org

(212) 542-8788

 

 

 

Today the CCAR is financially sound with a new governance structure, rebuilt infrastructure, development, and enhanced programs and services. The CCAR is committed to the needs of the rabbinate and supporting the Reform Movement. The New York-based professional and office staff are dedicated to supporting the mission of the CCAR and the needs of its membership.

Laurie Pinho is the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Operating Officer of the CCAR. In her current position, Ms. Pinho is responsible for overseeing the finance department of the CCAR, as well as the daily operations including the human resources functions of the CCAR office. She joined the CCAR in 2007, bringing with her a strong background in finance and management. At the CCAR, she previously held positions as Assistant Comptroller, and then as Comptroller.

Ms. Pinho is a New York State Certified Public Accountant. She has earned her MBA in Accounting from Bernard M. Baruch College in New York City, and she did her undergraduate work at Stockton College in Pomona, New Jersey.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters.


 

RABBI DAN MEDWIN

Manager of Digital Media

Dan Medwin

DMedwin@ccarnet.org

(212) 542-8795

 

Technology today is developing faster than ever before, and limitless opportunies exist for utilzing the dynamic techonolgical tools available in our time for the enhancement and deepening of Jewish practice, spirituality, and study.  CCAR is committed to continuing its development of digital Jewish resources, as well as providing ongoing learning opportunites regarding social media and emerging technologies. 

Rabbi Dan Medwin was ordained from Hebrew Union College (’10) where he also earned a Masters in Jewish Education. Dan began his undergraduate career at Brandeis University (’01) as a Computer Science major and spent his time working at the computer help desk.

Finding himself doing more counseling over deleted papers than technical help and wanting to pursue a life in the rabbinate, Dan switched to a double major in Judaic Studies and Sociology. Nevertheless, computers and technology have remained an active passion in his life. In addition to designing websites and creating interactive online learning modules, Dan has also developed a unique style of worship called Visual T’filah, which utilizes art and imagery to enhance prayer and deepen connections to liturgy.

Dan works for the CCAR further developing Visual T’filah and offering his technical expertise to the Reform Movement, through webinars, workshops, and scholar-in-residence weekends on such topics as "Using Social Media to build Community" and "Using Technology in the Classroom."

Dan is married to his HUC classmate and life-journeyer, Rabbi Lydia Bloom Medwin, and they are the happy parents of Zimra, Gavriel, and Jasmine. Dan enjoys sharing the title "Rabbi Medwin" with his wife as well as with his mother.

RABBI VICTOR APPELL

Manager of Programing 

Victor Appell

VAppell@ccarnet.org

(212) 542-8786

 

Rabbi Victor Appell joined the staff of the CCAR as Manager of Programing in July 2015. He now leads the CCAR’s programmatic endeavors, including its lifelong learning program that established the CCAR as the central address for rabbinic education following ordination through retirement. 

Rabbi Appell, a native New Yorker, brings to the CCAR, the rabbinate, and the Reform Movement significant rabbinic experience, as well as a solid business background. Rabbi Appell enjoyed a decade long career in sales and marketing, and then pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a rabbi. After ordination at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1999, he served as Assistant and then Associate Rabbi of Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, IL. Thereafter, he served Temple Emanu-El in Edison, NJ. In July of 2005, Rabbi Appell joined the staff of the Union for Reform Judaism where he served as the Director of Small Congregations, Co-Director of the Joint Commission on Synagogue Management, Outreach and Marketing Consultant, Congregational Marketing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Ten Minutes of Torah.

Rabbi Appell is the author of the "Think Small" sections in the URJ’s materials designed for synagogue leaders. His writings have appeared in Achim Magazine, Torat ChayimTen Minutes of TorahKulanu Handbook, The Gender Gap, and The Still Small Voice - Reflections on Being a Jewish Man.

Rabbi Appell grew up in the Reform Movement. In high school, he served as a regional NFTY president. Rabbi Appell, his husband, and their two children live in Metuchen, NJ.

 

RABBI BETSY TOROP

Manager of
Member Services

Betsy Torop

BTorop@ccarnet.org

(727) 542-2798

 

Rabbi Betsy Torop was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH in 1990. Following her ordination, Rabbi Torop served as a rabbi in Melbourne, Australia for 8 years, first as an assistant rabbi at Temple Beth Israel and then with her husband, Rabbi Michael Torop, at the Leo Baeck Centre. Upon returning to the United States, Rabbi Torop served as the Director of Jewish Life and Learning at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center in Roslyn, NY and as Rabbi at Congregation Shir Shalom in Bradenton, FL before becoming the Rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom in 2003. Rabbi Torop has contributed a study guide on Pirke Avot to the UAHC Significant Jewish Books Initiative and a commentary on Exodus, Chapter 1 to Beginning the Journey: Toward a Women's Commentary on Torah. She is a past chair of the CCAR Convention and has previously served as a CCAR board member and dues chair. She is the mother of three children.