Bio: Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal
Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal will take on the role as joint CEO of USCJ and the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) on July 1, 2020.
Since Rabbi Blumenthal joined the RA as Chief Executive, he has initiated organizational and cultural change through the Zera’im project, in addition to meeting with rabbis from North America, Latin America, and Israel to hear and address their concerns. He has fostered relationships with key Jewish communal leadersip and hosted a webinar series bringing rabbis together from the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist movements on the topic of understanding anti-Semitism today.
Rabbi Blumenthal has spent his entire career focused on growing Jewish communities, from USY chapters to congregation Shaare Torah in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where he was founding rabbi for 20 years. Rabbi Blumenthal has served on several committees and commissions in the RA and other international Jewish organizations. He helped create the Faith Community Advisory Council for Montgomery County, Maryland and hired its first director. Rabbi Blumenthal worked to develop what he calls “visionary ecosystem thinking” among congregations in the Washington-Baltimore area. He also played a leading role in the development of Ramah Day Camp of Greater Washington, in partnership with Camp Ramah New England. Furthermore, Rabbi Blumenthal helped introduce The Den Collective, a Jewish Millennials engagement project, reaching the many post-college Jews in the Washington D.C. area, as a collaboration of twelve Conservative congregations in the region.
A 1999 graduate from the Jewish Theological Seminary Rabbinical School, he officially joined Shaare Torah in its startup phase, after leading high holiday services for several years as a rabbinical student. Rabbi Blumenthal played a critical role in building the synagogue to 300 families and opening up its programs to the community at large.
In addition to his lifelong involvement with Conservative Jewish institutions, Rabbi Blumenthal has also had an equally long (if not longer) relationship with USY. Following his upbringing in the Seaboard region of USY, where he served as a regional officer, Rabbi Blumenthal participated in Nativ, USCJ’s gap year program in Israel. He started his career as a Regional Director in that same region and subsequently worked for USY as an Assistant International Director, including serving as co-director of International Convention (IC). During much of his tenure as a congregational rabbi, he also served as the rabbi for Seaboard Kadima. Both of Rabbi Blumenthal’s children, Jory and Renana, were involved in USY as well.
Ned Gladstein, International President of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and a board member of the Jewish Theological Seminary, praised Rabbi Blumenthal’s appointment. “We are thrilled that Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal will serve as joint CEO of both USCJ and the RA as we deepen our partnership,” Gladstein notes. “Innovative yet practical, Rabbi Blumenthal has the vision and talent to lead us into this new decade. Together, we will tackle the big challenges facing synagogues and other communities, such as creating engaging prayer experiences, new models for communities, and engaging with disruptive change,” he added.
Debra Newman Kamin, President of the Rabbinical Assembly said, “As a rabbi, I admire Jacob’s deep knowledge and commitment to the diverse tapestry of Judaism that our movement weaves, and as a friend I admire his empathy and understanding for the interpersonal relationships between people. Under his leadership as joint CEO of both the RA and soon also USCJ, we will all work together to tackle the real challenges facing us. I can think of no better person than Jacob to help lead us these two venerable Conservative Movement organizations as they embark on their next journey.”
Rabbi Blumenthal will have offices at USCJ and the RA at the Jewish Theological Seminary building at 3080 Broadway in New York City.
Julie Livingston, USCJ
(646) 519-9222 (direct)
Steve Rabinowitz for The Rabbinical Assembly