We are delighted to announce that the Board of Directors has appointed the Senior Rabbi Search Committee! The Board created an application process allowing any member to express interest in serving on the committee while also giving the board an overall snapshot of each applicant. The board received 14 thoughtful and impressive applications. Honestly, the choice was hard! The board was unanimous in selecting these committee members.
We invite you to read more about each committee member below. Our deepest thanks go to the Board of Directors for working through this process so carefully and to all those who participated by filling out applications, coming to the Town Hall, asking questions and participating in the recent focus groups.
The work of the Search Committee is a sacred task, undertaken on behalf of the entire kahal, and requiring hundreds of hours of their time. We are grateful for each of them stepping up during this momentous time. May they go from strength to strength!
Our Search Committee
Liz Cooper (Co-chair) has been a member of CBST for approximately 30 years. She co-chaired CBST’s Social Justice Committee and worked significantly on marriage equality, including heading to Albany with CBST members to try to achieve this goal. Liz is a law professor at Fordham University School of Law where she has worked on and written about numerous public health (HIV/AIDS, menstrual justice), anti-racism, and anti-poverty initiatives.
“I have long been looking to find a new way to give back to the shul. It would be a tremendous honor and responsibility to help us find someone to be CBST’s new light, to guide us and grow with us.”
Laurie Hanin has been a member of CBST for 26 years and has served on the Board and was the Co-Chair of the Re-Imagine Committee that led the way to the current Limmud program. She is the parent of young children who have been present at CBST since their birth and continues to volunteer with Limmud serving as a parent member. Laurie is Executive Director of the Center for Hearing and Communication – a non-profit rehabilitation center for people with hearing loss and is an Audiologist by training.
“CBST has been my spiritual home (and more) since the day I walked in. It’s very important to me that we have the best possible successor to Rabbi Kleinbaum and I know it’s not an easy job to find that person.”
Bill Hibsher has been a member of CBST for 32 years – and a vital part of its leadership—serving as a Board Member, President, and a key principal throughout the entire process of CBST’s creation of a “home of our own.” He is an attorney and was lead pro bono lawyer on Marriage Equality litigation nationwide on behalf of Family Equality Council; pro bono counsel for Hetrick Martin Institute, GMHC, NYC AIDS Memorial.
“I see potential service on this committee as an opportunity to participate in a transition that is vitally important to an institution that is very important to me…”
Kenneth Karpel (Co-chair) a member of CBST since 2010, has served on the CBST Board since 2019, and has been Secretary to the Board since 2022. He is co-chair of our Aging Together Congregational Team. Kenneth is a retired architect whose career was devoted to public service, including two seminal years in Tunisia as a Peace Corps volunteer, Vice President of Architecture and Engineering for the NYC School Construction Authority, and ultimately as a consultant to various public agencies.
“I love CBST and I want us to find the best possible person for our next Senior Rabbi. This is an incredible opportunity for us to envision and manifest the future.”
Irwin Kroot has been a member of CBST continuously for six years and on and off since 1990. He is a member of the chorus and has served as Chorus Coordinator since last July. Irwin is a recently retired human resources executive, having served as Assistant Vice President for Human resources at The New School for ten years. He brings deep experience in the entire recruitment, hiring and onboarding process at all levels, including senior leadership of complex organizations.
“CBST plays a very important role in my own life. I have a lifelong commitment to Judaism … and the tenacity to stay with this challenging process throughout its term, and the determination to do everything possible to see it to a successful conclusion.”
Max Leader has been a member of CBST since 2019 and currently serves as Co-chair of Aleinu. His background includes over 10 years of experience in synagogue organizational leadership, gained through various roles such as youth advisor, religious school teacher, and board positions in United Synagogue Youth, where he also served as Regional President. In his professional career in marketing and events, he has over 8 years of experience working with diverse teams and leading cross-discipline collaboration.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to be a voice that represents Aleinu’s demographic and to help find a new senior rabbi to build a stronger presence and interest among CBST’s younger members, ensuring sustained engagement and membership in the future.”
Amy Prince has been a member of CBST for over 20 years. She served on the retreat committee for five years, as chair or co-chair for some of those years, and on the children’s education committee. She designed and helped organize the children’s buddy program during Covid, pairing younger and older children for zoom conversations, homework help, hobby time, and more. After many years at CUNY as a Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, Amy is now the Senior Instructional Designer at Jobs for the Future where she engages with multiple stakeholders on initiatives that work to transform higher ed, industry, and policy in order to create meaningful and family-sustaining career pathways for traditionally marginalized populations.
“Don’t underestimate the diversity of our community. My experience of CBST is one small part of the whole. We are a multiplicity of affinities, interest groups, identities, assets, needs, challenges and desires, making our clergy even more essential in helping us maintain and nourish our health as one community.”