June 7, 2018

Dear Members of the HUC-JIR Community,

When I first met Rabbi Aaron Panken in the Fall of 2003, he was Dean of the New York Campus and traveling to Atlanta to introduce the College-Institute to various members of our Reform Temples throughout the city. I agreed to meet Aaron for an early morning breakfast. He arrived with his ubiquitous backpack, excited that he had already climbed Stone Mountain that morning. With the same exuberance and much pride, he discussed the College-Institute and highlighted programs happening on the New York campus. Aaron was a visionary and a true leader who rallied people like me and many of you to get involved with HUC-JIR. We shall never forget his influence on our lives and the impact of his spirit as we continue to mourn and remember the moments we shared with our beloved friend, teacher, and leader.

For the Board of Governors, ensuring the strong leadership and continuity of the institution Aaron loved and led is our responsibility. As we begin the process of seeking a new leader, I have been asked to chair the Presidential Search Committee. Twenty-one dedicated members of our community have been chosen to serve with me on this Committee. These members represent each of our campuses and the key constituencies of the College-Institute: Faculty, Alumni, Governors, Overseers, and Students. Additionally, Liz Squadron, Vice President for Program and Business Development, will be Executive Coordinator for the Committee.

Our Board of Governors now begins the work that lies ahead. We are all committed to the process of finding the right leader who understands and can implement the College-Institute’s sacred mission. The Presidential Search Committee will exercise discretion and professionalism as we recruit, communicate with, and assess all potential candidates. We will respect the absolute integrity our role demands as well as the need for impartiality and strict confidentiality throughout this process.

While we have strived for a broad representation of the HUC-JIR community in our Search Committee, we encourage you to participate by nominating potential candidates. Please direct all nominations and any questions you may have to me at jggreenberg@gmail.com. Periodic updates will be available at huc.edu/PresidentialSearch.

Our institution remains strong and viable because of its past leaders. And, in this light, our Board of Governors and the entire HUC-JIR community thank Rabbi David Ellenson for his generosity of time and commitment to lead us once again. We also wish to thank Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson for her personal support.

Thank you all for your assistance in this important endeavor.

Joy Greenberg
Chair, Presidential Search Committee; HUC-JIR Board of Governors