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October 9, 2015 | 26th Tishrei 5776

Contact: Emily Grotta
UAHC Department of Communications

Rabbi Daniel Freelander Named Vice President of UAHC;
Rabbi Lennard Thal Promoted to Senior Vice President

(BOSTON, MA, December 5, 2001)-Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander was elected vice president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations today as the Reform Movement began its Biennial Convention. In addition, Rabbi Lennard H. Thal, vice president of the UAHC since 1996, was named senior vice president. Thal is responsible for the UAHC's 14 regions and serves as second-in-command of the organization.

Freelander, 49, has been with the UAHC since 1975, will supervise the work of all the education and youth departments of the UAHC. Freelander's appointment is part of a reorganization that will bring together in one unit the Departments of Jewish Education, Adult Jewish Growth, and the youth and camping programs of the UAHC.

"The consolidation of our formal and informal education programs allows the Reform Movement to use its extensive resources to challenge and benefit the 120,000 children who participate annually in our movement's schools, camps and youth programs. We have learned so much from our camping and Israel programs that can benefit our synagogue schools," said Freelander, "and our informal educational programs can now coordinate their educational goals with our congregations."

In addition, Rabbi Freelander will be continue to have responsibility for the organization's publishing arms-the UAHC Press and Transcontinental Music Publications.

Freelander has served as director of program for the UAHC for 10 years, coordinating the work of the departments that create resources and provide counseling to the more than 900 congregations in the UAHC. He oversaw the creation and implementation of the UAHC adult literacy and worship initiatives and the UAHC partnership with Synagogue 2000. He has guided the publication of several groundbreaking musical publications, and speaks widely on the evolution of the Reform synagogue and its worship practices.

"Dan Freelander is one of the most talented and creative professionals I've known," said Yoffie. "Dan is the creative genius behind our Biennials, the guiding force behind the adult literacy and worship initiatives. I know that our future will be in good hands with Dan assuming responsibility for all our formal and informal education programming."

Freelander, who began his career with the UAHC as an assistant director of NFTY, served as the Regional Director of the UAHC's New Jersey -West Hudson Valley Council from 1982 to 1992, when he joined the UAHC's national staff.

A native of Worcester, MA, Freelander holds degrees in Religion and Music from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He was ordained in 1979 at the New York campus of HUC-JIR, and lives in New Jersey with his wife, Rabbi Elyse Frishman of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Franklin Lakes, NJ, and their three children. For almost 30 years, Freelander and his musical partner, Cantor Jeffrey Klepper, have composed and performed original Jewish melodies as the popular Jewish musical group Kol B'Seder.

Yoffie, who brought Thal to New York to serve as vice president when he was named president, said Thal will continue to be his chief deputy in the UAHC's operation. As Senior Vice President, Thal will continue to coordinate the efforts of the UAHC's 14 regional offices and serve as the liaison between the UAHC Board of Trustees and the Union's management and employees. He will also continue to serve as executive editor of Reform Judaism magazine, the UAHC's official quarterly publication.

Thal served as the regional director of the Union's Pacific Southwest Council from 1982 to 1995, and as an associate dean at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Los Angeles campus from 1973 to 1982. He was the staff director of the Union's Long Range Planning Committee, the Chairman of Los Angeles's Council of Religious Leaders, and an executive board member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Los Angeles Board of Rabbis. A graduate of Princeton University and Stanford University Law School, Thal was ordained as a rabbi in 1973. He and his wife, Linda, have two children.

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The Union of American Hebrew Congregations is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, representing over 1.5 million Reform Jews in over 900 congregations. UAHC services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programming, and the Religious Action Center in Washington, DC.


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