NEW YORK — If you want to lead a major Reform Jewish organization, here’s a piece of advice: Go to the Westchester Reform Temple.
With last week’s announcement that Rabbi Aaron Panken will be the new president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the temple in suburban New York now has produced two major Reform leaders in two years.
The other is Rabbi Rick Jacobs, who two years ago ceded the pulpit of the Scarsdale synagogue to become president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Panken isn’t new to HUC. He has been at the Reform rabbinical seminary since the mid-1990s, holding such senior positions as vice president for strategic initiatives, dean of the New York campus and dean of students.