(JTA) — Rabbi Pesach Lerner will step down as head of the National Council of Young Israel, the organization said.
Lerner decided not to resume his role as executive vice president of the organization — a position he has held for more than 20 years — following a six-month working sabbatical, Young Israel said in a statement Thursday.
He has been named executive vice president emeritus and will serve as an adviser to Young Israel.
"In his new role, Rabbi Lerner will be able to pursue other personal and professional interests and will focus his efforts and energy on a number of critical and pressing issues facing the larger Jewish community and the State of Israel," the organization said in its statement.
Lerner has been at the forefront of numerous Jewish issues and causes over the years, including the ongoing effort to free spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard, and working for the safety and security of Israel and Israelis.
Young Israel President Eli Dworetsky said Lerner has left his mark on the Young Israel and the larger Jewish community.
"His interest in getting leadership to think outside the box on a myriad of communal issues has taken Young Israel to new and exciting places, and we thank him for doing so," Dworetsky said.