Welcome Rebecca as new Director of the Center City Kehillah

Chodesh Tov. Today is Rosh Chodesh Elul. During Elul we blow the shofar each weekday to prepare for the new year. The shofar blasts inspire us to remember the past and to prepare for what is ahead. In biblical times, the shofar was blown to announce transitions. As we enter Elul as a Kehillah, we are marking two transitions.

I am honored to be resuming the position of Chair of the Steering Committee. I want to express my gratitude to Beverly Socher-Lerner for serving as chair and guiding us through the search for a new Director. We will be forever grateful to Miriam Steinberg-Egeth for building and nurturing the Kehillah into the vibrant community we all blessed to be members of.

On behalf of the steering team, we are overjoyed to announce that Rebecca Krasner will be assuming the position of Director of the Center City Kehillah. Rebecca has been an active member of the Kehillah as a representative of Temple Beth-Zion Beth Israel and has been a member of the steering team for the past year. Additionally, we have expanded the position to twenty hours a week. The expansion will provide Rebecca the flexibility to build deeper ties with each organization and expand programming while continuing to provide meaningful connections. Please join me in welcoming Rebecca Krasner as our new Center City Kehillah director!

Rhona Gerber
Chair, Center City Kehillah SteeringTeam

I enter my new position with a full heart and much gratitude. I joined the Center City Kehillah in 2019 representing BZBI, where I have been the Community Engagement Specialist for three years. The vision of the Kehillah, a Center City Jewish Community that works together to strengthen us all, resonates loudly in my neshama, my soul. I grew up in a Modern Orthodox community in New York and have lived in many different parts of the county and have been part of many different Jewish communities since then. I have worked in the Jewish Community as a Regional Director For Moving Traditions while living in Chicago, Program Director at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and a birth doula. I believe that every Jew deserves to find their Jewish community in which they are seen, held, and appreciated for who they are.

The Center City Kehillah has been in the backdrop of my personal life since moving to Philly in 2015. However, I only fully understood the power of the Kehillah beginning in March 2020. As we moved into lockdown and took refuge in our homes, I began looking forward to our monthly Kehillah meetings in a way that I had not previously. Meeting month after month at 8:30 AM on Wednesday morning from our homes, out on a walk, or from our cars, gave me stability and purpose at a time when I felt powerless and scared. I looked to my fellow Kehillah representatives for strength and camaraderie. We worked together to create racial justice programming for ourselves and then for the Jewish community as a whole. I felt empowered and moved by our capacity to support one another and to work together toward shared goals that we all strongly believe in.

As we move into a new phase of unknown futures, I feel privileged to be stepping into a role where I can do my part to continue strengthening our Jewish community. I thank my predecessor, Miriam Steinberg-Egeth, for your unwavering dedication to the Kehillah and to our Center City Jewish community. Our Kehillah is strong and dynamic because of your tenacity, vision, deep love for and understanding of our community. I am deeply grateful to the dedication of our Kehillah steering team and all of the representatives who devote their time to building a strong Jewish Philadelphia, and I look forward to meeting many new people as we continue to grow our community together.