Comings & Goings: New Orthodox and Reform leaders, new roles for former JTA and Philly museum execs


NEW YORK (JTA) — Some Comings and Goings in the Jewish world in September:


Chelsey Berlin has been named associate director of B’Tselem USA. The human rights watchdog organization publishes the annual "Human Rights in the Occupied Territories” report.

Mark Joffe, former JTA editor in chief and publisher, was hired as director of international development for the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s PJ Library program, where he will help expand the program to Jewish children in countries beyond North America, Israel and Australia. Samara Klein is the new director of rights and international operations for PJ Library.

Rabbi Mark Dratch was appointed executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, an umbrella group of Orthodox rabbis. Dratch, a member of the Newsweek 50 Most Influential Rabbis list, succeeds Rabbi Basil Herring, who will assume new duties as editor in chief of RCA Publications.

Rachel Laser was hired as The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s new deputy director. The organization also named longtime RAC staffer Barbara Weinstein  as director of the commission on social action and associate director, and Isaac Nuell as manager of congregational social action. The RAC also added three senior advisers: Rabbi David Sandmel, Leonard Fein and Michael Horowitz.

Michael Rosenzweig, former head of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, will serve as the first president and CEO of the Jerusalem-based Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies starting Oct. 15.

Eillene Leistner has been hired as chief development officer of American Friends of Magen David Adom after serving as director of development at the Jewish Student Connection. Erik Levis was named assistant PR director of AFMDA.

Rabbi Ronald Sobel was named president of the Leo Baeck Institute, a New York-based research library devoted to the study of the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry. Sobel is senior rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanu-El in New York.

Rabbi Yonason Sacks was formally welcomed as the Rosh HaYeshiva of Touro’s Lander College for Men at an investiture ceremony on Sept. 27.

Wayne Firestone announced that he will leave his role as CEO of Hillel International in June to pursue other professional opportunities.

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