Leadership & Governance

As a leader, so the generation; as the generation, so the leader. - Talmud Yerushalmi, Arachim 17a

The URJ is governed by a 253-member North American board of trustees that works in close partnership with the URJ Chair, the URJ President, the Senior Leadership Team and other members of the professional staff. The board is comprised of lay leaders who belong to URJ congregations across the U.S. and Canada as well as representatives of the HUC-JIR, CCAR, and several affiliate organizations.  Both the board of trustees and the smaller Oversight Committee, whose members are elected by the board of trustees, meet twice a year.  The Oversight Committee convenes for additional meetings during the year.

The General Assembly, the URJ’s largest governing body, consists of delegates from URJ congregations and meets once every two years at the Biennial Convention to guide the future direction of the Reform Movement.

Jennifer Brodkey Kaufman

Chair, North American Board of Trustees
Jennifer Brodkey Kaufman, of Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento, has served on the URJ Board since 2003 in a variety of roles across all of the organization’s efforts, including as Chair of the Commission on Social Action and Chair of the Resolutions Committee.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs

President
Rabbi Rick Jacobs is president of the Union for Reform Judaism, the most powerful force in North American Jewish life. The URJ leads the largest and most diverse Jewish movement in North America, with nearly 850 congregations reaching nearly 1.5 million people.

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie

President Emeritus
Installed as president in June 1996, Rabbi Yoffie led the Reform Movement in exciting new directions, moving congregational life toward greater attention to Torah study and adult literacy. He spearheaded a major expansion of the URJ's summer camping program.

Julie Lerner

Executive Vice President
Julie Lerner is a strategic, dynamic, and galvanizing leader who has a proven track record guiding complex organizations to grow while keeping focused on the things that matter most.

Ruben Arquilevich

Vice President for URJ Camps, NFTY, and Immersives
Ruben Arquilevich leads a team of stellar Camp and Youth professionals through North America and Israel who together mobilize over 20,000 youth, teens, parents, young adults and faculty to create a more just, compassionate, inclusive and sustainable world.

Amy Asin

Vice President, Strengthening Congregations
Amy Asin leads the URJ’s initiatives in Strengthening Congregations, one of the four priorities of the URJ’s 2020 Vision. She is guiding initiatives in leadership development, congregational innovation, congregational networking, and transition and crisis management.

Yonatan Meir

Chief Information Officer
Yonatan Meir is accountable for defining and delivering the IT strategy and capability across the URJ and leveraging technology solutions that position the URJ for growth.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism & Senior Vice President of the URJ
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner has led the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism since 2015. Rabbi Pesner also serves as Senior Vice President of the Union for Reform Judaism, a position to which he was appointed to in 2011.

Riva Silverman

Vice President for Philanthropy
Riva Silverman recently joined the URJ as the Vice President for Philanthropy. She has worked in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors for nearly 30 years and has held senior leadership positions at the New Israel Fund, American Jewish World Service and, most recently, HIAS.

Rabbi Josh Weinberg

Vice President of the URJ for Israel and Reform Zionism & Executive Director of ARZA
Rabbi Josh Weinberg serves as the Vice President of the URJ for Israel and Reform Zionism and is the Executive Director of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America. He was ordained from the HUC-JIR Israeli Rabbinic Program in Jerusalem, and is currently living in New York.

Commissions, Committees, and Task Forces

Lay and professional leaders of the Reform Movement lend their talent and expertise to joint commissions, on which the Union is joined by the CCAR, HUC-JIR, and other Reform organizations. Through their deliberations, the commissions help determine the Movement's position on critical issues affecting every Reform Jew, such as social justice and political concerns and the role of the non-Jew in synagogue life.  There are also several standing committees of the board (i.e. Budget, Investment, Operations).  In addition, task forces are formed as needed to work during a given period of time around a specific charge.   Their work results in recommendations to the board.

Board of Trustees

The board is comprised of lay leaders who belong to URJ congregations across the U.S. and Canada as well as representatives of the HUC-JIR, CCAR, and several affiliate organizations.

View the Roster

Oversight Committee

The members of the Oversight Committee are elected by the Board of Trustees.

View the Roster

Constitution and Bylaws

The constitution adopted at the 39th Council of the Union, March 3-6, 1946, and all subsequent amendments.