JCC Pittsburgh on June 26, 2015
May 14, 2015
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh is pleased to announce that Rabbi Ronald B.B. Symons has been appointed to the new position of Senior Director of Jewish Life, effective July 1, 2015. The position will oversee key initiatives that enhance the JCC’s mission and core values to enrich Jewish life, tradition and community. Amongst his duties, Rabbi Symons will oversee the JCC’s teen education and engagement programs, including teen programs currently housed at the Agency for Jewish Learning that are transitioning to the JCC over the coming months.
Rabbi Symons is well known in the local Jewish community, having served as Rabbi of Temple Sinai where he directed the Midrash Center for Lifelong Jewish Learning and the Tikkun Olam Center for Jewish Social Justice since 2008.
“I am passionate about Jewish living and Jewish community, committed to engaging and meaningful experiences that lead to intellectually, culturally, spiritually and socially responsible Jewish living,” Rabbi Symons said.
He describes himself as “a student of effective learning,” striving for educational excellence across the ages – from telling stories with his 4-foot tall puppet Sheli to young families to kneading challah dough with elementary school students, to taking a Jewish road trip with teens and engaging in text-based meaningful conversations with adults.
Symons is a regular faculty member of the OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to Temple Sinai, he served as Rabbi/Education Director of Larchmont Temple, New York, and as head of Jewish Studies faculties at Cohen Hillel Academy and the Rashi School in Massachusetts. He served the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa, Israel, and as Regional Educator for the Union for Reform Judaism.
He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and was ordained by Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. He holds a Master of Arts in Hebrew Literature from HUC-JIR and a Master of Science in Educational Administration and Supervision from Pace University. He is a graduate of the Day School Leadership Training Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary and the AviChai Foundation. He is trained as a community organizer, is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh and is a Rabbi Balfour Brickner Rabbinic Fellow of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
Rabbi Symons and his wife, Rabbi Barbara Symons of Temple David, Monroeville, are the proud parents of Aviva, Ilana and Micah.