FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 20, 2021
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Senior Rabbi of Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati Becomes Leader of Reform Rabbinic Leadership Organization
New York, NY – Rabbi Lewis H. Kamrass has been installed as the new president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) following the 2021 CCAR annual Convention, where Reform rabbis gathered virtually in mid-March for four days of learning, praying, and connecting. During the Convention, Rabbi Kamrass joined Rabbi Hara Person, Chief Executive of CCAR to share their vision for the future of CCAR and Reform Judaism with their rabbinic peers for the first time, including their plans to build off the work of Rabbi Ronald Segal, who served as CCAR president for the last two years.
Rabbis have worked hard over the past year to keep the Jewish community united and connected and to meet the needs of their individual communities during holidays and as spiritual first responders. While rabbis and communities continue to face new challenges with the ongoing pandemic, CCAR is continuing to support its rabbis so that they can be their best selves as leaders of Jewish life. As the new President of CCAR, Rabbi Kamrass will help lead the organization’s efforts to provide deepened rabbinic support, expand professional development and renewal, share meaningful resources with rabbis and the Jewish community, and develop unique experiences for rabbis to join together and provide mutual strength and inspiration.
“When rabbis are inspired and supported, Jewish life and the Jewish community flourishes,” said Rabbi Kamrass, CCAR President. “I’m so honored to step in and lead CCAR in this unprecedented moment to ensure our rabbis are nurtured, supported and cared for as they courageously lead our Jewish community into a post-pandemic future.”
“I’m honored to work alongside Rabbi Kamrass in our continued efforts to support rabbis and the Jewish community as they confront the challenges brought about by the ongoing pandemic,” Rabbi Hara Person, Chief Executive of CCAR. “Together we will ensure CCAR continues to grow and learn about how to serve a wider swath of our members, developing new ways of creating rabbinic community and meeting rabbis’ needs so that they can better serve their communities. I am also grateful to outgoing president Rabbi Ron Segal for his dedicated work helping to lead our members through this difficult past year.”
Rabbi Kamrass is currently the Senior Rabbi of Isaac M. Wise Temple of Cincinnati, Ohio, the historic synagogue inspired by the innovative vision of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, founder of Reform Judaism in the United States. Rabbi Kamrass has been part of the Wise Temple’s rabbinate for 36 years and is also a long-standing member of the CCAR Board of Trustees. He received his rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.
About the Central Conference of American Rabbis: The Central Conference of American Rabbis is the Reform Rabbinic leadership organization. The CCAR strengthens the Jewish community by providing religious, spiritual, ethical and intellectual leadership and wisdom. CCAR and its members lead the Reform Movement on important spiritual, social, cultural and human rights issues, as it has done since 1889. CCAR also is the center for lifelong rabbinic learning, professional development, and resources for the 2,100 rabbis who serve more than 1.5 million Reform Jews throughout North America, Israel and the world. Since its founding, the CCAR has also served as the primary publisher of the Reform Movement through CCAR Press and its imprint Reform Judaism Publishing.