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Beth Am Welcomes Jeremy Ragent, Our New Executive Director

As Beth Am President Amy Gerstein shared with the community in a message before the High Holy Days, the Executive Director Search Task Force has been working hard to find the right person to help lead us into an exciting new future at Beth Am. We are delighted to introduce you to Beth Am’s talented new Executive Director, Jeremy Ragent.  
We set a high bar in our search process, and Jeremy immediately rose to the top of a strong field of candidates. And, even better, the more we got to know him, the more we grew to like him, respect him and enjoy the pleasure of his company — we're confident that the same will be true for our entire community. Jeremy is a gifted and dedicated leader whose vision and skills have been recognized by the Jewish community, both locally and nationally. He is an outstanding communicator, a strong administrator, a skilled community builder, a creative developer of community programming — and as a bonus, he is also a wonderful musician. We are confident that Jeremy’s skills, passion, commitment and menschlichkeit are exactly what Beth Am needs as we move forward with confidence and strength. 

About Jeremy 
A Bay Area native, Jeremy grew up in San Mateo in a family that belonged to Peninsula Temple Beth El (and who also played a role in its founding in the 1950s). Jeremy is no stranger to Congregation Beth Am: he served as a Hebrew teacher to our 5th graders for the 2011-12 school year. He already knows many members of our community from both professional and personal relationships.

Jeremy comes to us from Hillel at Stanford, where he has long focused on building Jewish community on campus. He has held multiple positions since joining the Hillel at Stanford team in 2010, including community engagement, development and fundraising, staff leadership, strategic planning and more. Most recently, and currently, he served as Assistant Director. Earlier, he served as Interim Executive Director during two transitional periods at Hillel. Jeremy was honored just last year with the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award, Hillel International's highest professional honor, which recognizes Hillel professionals “who embrace Hillel’s mission and truly make an impact on our collective Jewish future.” The award presentation highlighted Jeremy’s generous and collaborative leadership style, noting his sense of humor (we noticed that, too!) and that “he leads by example and inspires those around him.” 
Jeremy studied history at UCLA and, after graduating, spent a year living and volunteering in Israel. He has also done development work for a Jewish public interest law firm (Bet Tzedek) and worked to revitalize a teen volunteer program for the Wise Freedom School, a free childhood summer literacy program sponsored by Stephen Wise Temple. Jeremy then earned dual master's degrees, one in Jewish Nonprofit Management from the Zelikow School at HUC-JIR in Los Angles and another in Public Administration from the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC. He is an alumnus of the highly selective Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program, established in 1988 by The Wexner Foundation to encourage promising candidates to successfully meet the challenges of professional Jewish leadership in the North American Jewish community.
Jeremy loves spending time in nature, biking and adventuring with his wife, Hana, and two kids, Naomi and Lev.  
Welcoming Jeremy 
Jeremy’s first day at Beth Am will be December 11, giving him the opportunity to finish important work at Hillel. Shortly after he joins us, we will provide a variety of opportunities — both formal and informal — for you to meet Jeremy, and vice versa! Stay tuned for details.

Please plan to join Jeremy and his family for their first Shabbat at Beth Am on Friday, December 8 at our Erev Shabbat Chanukah Service when our rabbis will have the opportunity to offer a special blessing for Jeremy, his family and our community. Come say shalom and baruch haba (welcome) at a special Chanukah nosh after the service, where you’ll have an opportunity to meet and greet our new Executive Director. Also, look for Jeremy at religious school drop-off shortly after his start date; we’ll keep you posted on the details. In addition to the “getting to know us” sessions mentioned above, Jeremy expects to hold regular office hours (look for the schedule once he’s settled in); and, of course, he will always be available to our community by phone, email and appointment. 

Sun, December 10 2023 27 Kislev 5784