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At Central Synagogue

Introducing our new Director of Youth & Family Education

Posted January 15, 2015

Introducing our new Director of Youth & Family Education

We are excited to introduce to you our new senior leadership team for youth and family education at Central Synagogue.

Effective July 1, Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal will become our Director of Youth & Family Education, a new position reflecting our belief that our education programs for families with children of all ages, up to the end of college, require highly experienced and focused leadership.

Rebecca is well known and respected as one of the leading Jewish educators in the country. A native New Yorker who grew up in Manhattan, she is currently the Director of Children and Family Education at IKAR, a leading Jewish community in Los Angeles, where she leads their religious school. Over the past four years she has redesigned the program, developed the curriculum, and supervised the team, leading to a tripling of enrollment in a four-year period. At IKAR, she also has supervised their Early Childhood Center from its creation to present, and created the IKAR Teen program.

Rebecca is a dynamic and caring educator, with a true passion for bringing families into the Synagogue as active participants in their children’s Jewish journeys. She has shared with us creative and innovative ideas and programs that she has pioneered. And, she truly views her Rabbinate as being about education and teaching—both in the classroom and working directly with students—as well as mentoring teachers.

Prior to IKAR, Rebecca was Director of Education of Congregation B’nai Zion in El Paso, Texas, and prior to that she was Acting Director of the Hebrew School at B’nai Jeshurun here in New York. Having grown up in New York City, she knows the myriad of learning opportunities for Jewish youth and their families that exist in our great city, and that knowledge will be invaluable.

Rebecca will work closely with our existing education leadership team, who will report directly to her:

Cindy Grebow will continue in her role as Director of Early Childhood Education. Over the past 18 months, Cindy has made real progress in strengthening the May Family Nursery School, our Young Family Center for families with children from birth to age five, and our other early childhood programming. Under Cindy’s supervision, the Early Childhood Center, including the Nursery School, has continued to innovate and introduce new programs, teachers, and experiences for our youngest children. Cindy will work with Rebecca to continue enhancing our existing programs and develop new initiatives to serve our youngest congregants and their families.

Zach Rolf has been extremely effective over this past year leading all facets of The Lese Center for Living Judaism (LCLJ), our education program for children in grades K–12. He is also in the final stages of completing his Executive Masters in Jewish Education at the Hebrew Union College. We are delighted therefore to announce that Zach will formally become Director of The LCLJ, effective immediately. Zach will work with our teachers and soon with Rebecca in continuing to enhance the curriculum of The LCLJ; their goal is to apply the best, most innovative thinking to create the highest quality Jewish educational experiences for our children that are meaningful, relevant, and truly engaging.

We believe that this senior leadership team, and the focus they will bring to our youth education programs, will better enable Central to raise the bar on the educational experience we provide our children and families.

Please join us in welcoming Rebecca to Central, and in congratulating Zach on the formalization of his role leading The LCLJ.