Andrew Rehfeld to be inaugurated as president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Andrew Rehfeld


Submitted by: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., will be inaugurated as the 10th president in the 144-year history of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Isaac M. Wise/K.K. B’nai Yeshurun/Plum Street Temple. 

The Inauguration will be attended by the international leaders of the Reform Movement, dignitaries from international academic institutions and organizations, communal and civic leaders of Cincinnati, alumni, faculty, and students. 

A distinguished academic, Rehfeld brings distinctive intellectual, spiritual, and professional qualities to lead HUC-JIR’s mission to transform the Jewish community and the broader world. His passion for teaching and scholarship, as well as exemplary leadership skills, have set him apart as a dynamic visionary and community builder. His deep personal commitment to Reform Judaism and Jewish values, profound understanding of the impact of nonprofit Jewish institutions, and entrepreneurial spirit of innovation will lead HUC-JIR to greater excellence.

Dr. Rehfeld has bridged both the academic and Jewish worlds as assistant professor of political science (2001 to 2007) and associate professor of political science (2007 to 2019) at Washington University in St. Louis and as president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis (2012 to 2019). A tenured professor of political thought at HUC-JIR, he contributes a combination of teaching and scholarship, experience in Jewish nonprofit administration, and volunteer community leadership.

“I am thrilled by the opportunity to work collaboratively with a dynamic professional team of deans, program directors, academic administrators, and faculty across all four campuses to shape the future of professional Jewish leadership by inspiring, educating, and learning from a new generation of students,” Rehfeld said. “These are challenging times that HUC-JIR, as a multi-faceted institution of higher education, is well suited to address.  I can only hope to live up to the historic legacy of transformational leadership that characterized those who held this position before me, from Isaac Mayer Wise and Stephen S. Wise to David Ellenson and Aaron Panken.  I am honored to serve as the president of HUC-JIR.”

As HUC-JIR President, he leads the four-campus international institution of Jewish higher education and seminary for Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR’s campuses in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York provide the academic and professional training programs for the Reform Movement’s rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offer graduate programs for scholars of all faiths.

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