David Roberts is stepping down as chair of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities’ board of governors after holding the position for the past 11 years. In September, he will assume the role of chair emeritus. Roberts is being hailed as a transformational leader in the Reconstructionist movement, working in close partnership with RRC/JRC President Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D.
Vice chair Seth Rosen, elected by the board at its June 11 meeting to succeed Roberts, will officially become chair at the October board meeting.
Rosen, a resident of Larchmont, of counsel at the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, and former president of Bet Am Shalom Synagogue in White Plains, has previously served on the board of JRF. He is the first chair of the combined Reconstructionist organization to rise from the board of the JRF. Rosen sees his role, in part, as helping the organization maintain its focus on training entrepreneurial clergy, strengthening communities, developing creative new opportunities for Jewish experience and amplifying the movement’s progressive voice in the public sphere.
“This role is a great challenge and opportunity,” said Rosen. “When I retired from the practice of law, I hoped to find meaningful work and push myself in new ways. I believe in this movement. It is so vital that we have a vibrant progressive religious voice in the public square.”
Rosen praised Roberts’ leadership and guidance, calling him a transformational figure in the movement’s history. “His tenure completely transformed the spirit and day-to-day work of the movement. That’s a record of achievement not many people can point to.”
Reconstructionist Judaism energizes Jewish living and learning to transform themselves, their communities and the world. They proclaim a radical and refreshing theological vision that inspires people of all backgrounds to fight for justice. The movement teaches that Judaism is the continuously evolving civilization of the Jewish people, encompassing culture, art, music, food, belief, ritual and everyday living. They recognize G-d’s presence in all of creation.