Cindy 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. Her skills and capacities derive from her work as a rabbi and an attorney who, before she entered HUC-JIR, served as a Temple president when her Temple entered into search for its first rabbi.
Cindy has served as a congregational rabbi in Bellingham, WA and in Chicago, IL, as well as an organizational rabbi at the FaithTrust Institute in Seattle, WA. At the FaithTrust Institute she established and directed the Jewish Program working with both rabbis and congregations. Prior to entering the rabbinate, Cindy 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.
Cindy also brings important 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.
As we will all learn in the coming months and years, Cindy is a native of St. Louis who has many talents and interests, ranging from her meditation practice to her love of her Great Pyrenees mix, and from kayaking to gardening.
In addition to her s’micha from HUC-JIR, Cindy 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 Teacher Training, Prepare and Enrich Facilitator Training, and Clinical Pastoral Education.
Cindy 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 on a panel, “Contemplative Prayer and Embodied Healing,” at the Third Annual Conference on Medicine & Religion, Chicago, 2014, and delivering the Memorial Address at Princeton University’s Annual Service of Remembrance, 2012. She has taught 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 V’Eilu 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).
The Position and the Search Process
As a member of the CCAR senior staff, Cindy will continue to oversee the portfolio currently managed by Alan: serve as Rabbinic Placement Director, including work with the Rabbinic Placement Commission of CCAR/URJ/HUC-JIR, lead staff for the admissions process of rabbis seeking to enter the CCAR, and oversee the staff members who run the Mentoring and Interim Rabbinate programs.
Within Placement, Cindy will focus at first on continuing to deliver and to enhance the current core placement services to rabbis, congregations and organizations. After she is ensconced, she will play a lead role in conversations looking to the future of rabbinical placement, a process that will engage rabbis along with our partners within the URJ and HUC-JIR.
As previously reported to you, while the CCAR senior staff directed the search for Cindy led by Steve Fox, we also engaged the CCAR leadership and our partners at URJ and HUC-JIR. This led to the creation of a wonderful task force from the membership of the Reform Placement Commission (chaired by Michael White) that included Larry Tarica (HUC-JIR), Andy Goodman (URJ) and Judith Segal (CCAR). CCAR president Denise Eger and the officers were also involved in the process. The process, including the three partner organizations defining success for the transition, lead to the creation of a position profile that Cindy fits superbly.
We will be sharing more details with you about the transition plan that both will welcome Cindy into her new position, and allow us to honor and thank Alan as he transitions into his new position as CCAR Special Advisor.
Please join us in warmly welcoming Cindy to the CCAR and to her important new role serving the Reform Movement.