A role in leadership at the Rabbinical Assembly is nothing new for Rabbi Harold Kravitz; after all, he’s held four of the five officer positions in the organization. On Tuesday night March 29, Adath Jeshurun’s senior rabbi will hold the final position when he is installed as the organization’s president.
The RA, which is the international association of rabbis that are in the conservative movement, holds its officer installation in Los Angeles. The event starts at 7 p.m. and can be livestreamed here.
Kravitz was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary and has served the congregation since 1987, including as co-chair for the RA’s strategic planning and implementation process, as well as its chief executive search. He served for 18 years on the RA’s Va’ad Hakavod (Professional Ethics Committee), which he chaired for six years, as well as on the Rabbinic Advisory Committee of the Center for Contemporary Mussar. He is a former Board Chair of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.
“It’s been a progression over the course of years, since 2012, that I’ve gotten personally involved in a serious way and been pulled into the work ever since,” Kravitz said earlier this month. “I’ve said numerous times in the past that I don’t have any need to be president. It’s not a problem. At some point, they said, ‘Stop. It’s happening.’”
The transition comes at an interesting time for Kravitz and Adath. Kravitz announced last year that he was going to be stepping down as the synagogue’s senior rabbi in June 2023, where he will be succeeded by current Adath Rabbi Aaron Weininger. Kravitz will transition to the role of rabbi emeritus. Kravitz’s elevation to the president of the RA was known to him before the announcement of position changes at Adath.
“The timing works out really well,” he said. “Sometimes rabbis at the end of their careers start to feel like nobody was paying attention to them anymore. That could happen, but I don’t think I’m going to have a problem. There’s plenty to keep me busy and hopefully, be able to be supportive of Aaron, but not be meddling.”
Among the officers being installed Tuesday is the RA’s new financial secretary, Rabbi Aaron Brusso. Brusso, the senior rabbi at Bet Torah in Westchester, NY, since 2009, served at Adath for nine years under Kravitz.
“We get to work very closely in this area, and people have so much respect for Aaron. We all loved him and respected him when he was here,” Kravitz said. “He has gone on to just be a phenomenally talented rabbi. He is so respected by his colleagues.”