A 1984 graduate of Baltimore City College has been named the 13th president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, a leading seminary within Reform Judaism and the oldest Jewish seminary in the Americas, after a nationwide search.
Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., 53, a leading political scientist, nonprofit administrator and advocate for progressive Jewish and social-justice causes, was chosen as leader of the four-campus institution last month.
As president, he will oversee campuses in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, New York and Jerusalem, an annual operating budget of more than $41 million, 36 tenured faculty members and an enrollment of about 1,200 students.
For the past four years, Rehfeld has served as both the president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and an associate professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis.
The chairwoman of search committee that chose Rehfeld cited his excellence as a scholar, writer, fundraiser and strategic planner administrator, including his efforts in leading a metropolitan Jewish Federation that raised more than $15 million per year to help “support, educate and connect thousands of individuals in St. Louis, Israel and globally.”
Calling Rehfeld “a distinguished academic and creative thought leader,” board member Joy G. Greenberg described the former Baltimorean as “uniquely qualified intellectually, spiritually, and professionally to lead the College-Institute in our mission to transform the Jewish community and the broader world.”
Rehfeld said in a statement: “I am thrilled by the opportunity to work collaboratively with a dynamic professional team of deans, program directors, academic administrators, and faculty. These are challenging times for the Jewish People that I believe HUC-JIR, as a multi-faceted institution of higher education, is well suited to address.”
Hebrew Union — Jewish Institute of Religion is known for educating leaders to serve within the Jewish Reform movement, the faith’s largest branch in the United States, and the Jewish people in general as rabbis, educators and nonprofit management professionals.
Rehfeld begins in the position April 1.