Bruce Greenfield, the longtime executive director of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s Metropolitan New York District, died Dec. 12 following a heart attack in his North Bellmore, L.I. home. He was 64.
Mr. Greenfield, who served as head of the Conservative movement’s activities in the Greater New York area, and previously as the region’s youth director, for 35 years, left USCJ two years ago as part of an investigation into possible financial improprieties at the organization.
During his three-plus decades at the Metropolitan district, he innovated several educational and social programs, including missions to Albany and Washington, which were copied by Conservative congregations and United Synagogue Youth chapters around the country, said Norman Korowitz, METNY chair. “They followed our lead. Bruce put us on the map. Bruce gave us the brand.
“Bruce was a devoted Jew – he was devoted to the Jewish community,” Korowitz said. “He leaves behind thousands of USY [alumni] young people.”
Mr. Greenfield, who grew up in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, joined what was then known as the United Synagogue of America in 1972, after graduating from Queens College. “He always focused on Jewish communal service,” said his son, Michael.
A veteran of several trips to Israel, he encouraged members of the Jewish community to visit the Jewish state, where religious affairs are under strict Orthodox control, and at the same time lobby for equal rights for non-Orthodox denominations. “We are continuing to show our solidarity with the country and the importance it plays in the Conservative movement,” he said in an interview a decade ago in The Jewish Week.
Mr. Greenfield is survived by his wife, Annette; three children, Michael, Ari and Danit, and five grandchildren.