(JTA) — Rabbi Stephen Fuchs has been named president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.
Fuchs has served nearly four decades as a pulpit rabbi, including as senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, Conn., since 1997. He is a past chair of the Central Conference of American Rabbis committee on interreligious affairs, and is known for his work in Jewish-Christian relations and social justice issues.
Fuchs will assume the presidency in July, and plans to divide his time equally between North America and Israel.
"To work for klal yisrael [the Jewish people], to advance Progressive Jewish life in Israel and around the world, is the opportunity for which I have been preparing my entire life," Fuchs said in the news release announcing his appointment.
Mike Grabiner, WUPJ’s chairman, in the release called Fuchs "a visionary leader."
The World Union is the international umbrella organization of more than 1,200 Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist congregations in 44 countries.