Jewish Federation forming search committee for next CEO

Andrew Rehfeld

Eric Berger, Staff Writer

Jewish Federation of St. Louis is forming a search committee to find a replacement for Andrew Rehfeld, who will leave his position as president and CEO at the end of March. 

“We intend to undertake a national search to find a successor for Andrew,” said Gerry Greiman, chairman of the Federation board. “We intend to look inside the box and outside the box and find the best person that we can.”

Rehfeld had been a tenured political science professor at Washington University when he joined the Jewish nonprofit in 2012. He announced last month that he was leaving the post to become the 13th president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), the Reform rabbinical seminary and institute of higher education. 

Greiman said they would like to hire a successor “as soon as possible, but we are more concerned with finding the right person than we are with anything else. We don’t feel that we have a pressing need to accept a candidate who is less than ideal.”

The organization also plans to hire a search consultant and will “highly publicize the job.”

“We feel that we are in a very strong position and have terrific professional staff below Andrew,” said Greiman. 

The organization seeks a leader who “has great communication skills, someone who can relate to the community, someone who is a strategic thinker, someone who has fundraising capabilities and someone who has a strong sense of Jewish community.”

Current priorities for the Federation are expanding the Holocaust Museum & Learning Center, the annual fundraising campaign and a strategic plan to get donors more involved in the community. 

The organization is formulating its plan for interim management and expects to make an announcement soon, Greiman said.