JEWISHcolorado Begins National Search for New President & CEO as Rabbi Jay Strear Departs

DENVER (November 4, 2022)– JEWISHcolorado has announced the departure of Rabbi Jay Strear as President & CEO of the organization at the end of the month.  

Rabbi Jay Strear

Rabbi Strear joined JEWISHcolorado in 2018. Under his leadership, JEWISHcolorado successfully completed a capital campaign and the redevelopment of its Joyce Zeff building, launched a nationally recognized Regional Safety and Security initiative, helped raise nearly $1 million in COVID relief funds, as well as $1 million to support families impacted by the Marshall Fire and delivered balanced budgets through the COVID period. During his tenure, JEWISHcolorado also launched the Israel & Overseas Center to enhance programs that connect more Coloradans to Israel.

“We are indebted to Rabbi Strear for his work to enrich the lives of Colorado’s diverse and vibrant Jewish community and for guiding the organization for these past four years,” said Board Chair Rob Kaufmann. “He has been a tireless advocate for building community and enhancing the lives of the Jewish people here at home and around the world. We are truly grateful.”  

“Working with and for this community has been very gratifying, and I leave JEWISHcolorado in a strong position, poised to continue and even expand its work on behalf of the Colorado Jewish community,” Rabbi Strear said.

Renée Rockford

The organization will launch a national search for his successor. Renée Rockford, JEWISHcolorado’s Chief Advancement Officer, will serve as interim President & CEO.  “I have been fortunate to work alongside Rabbi Strear for nearly two years and appreciate all that I have been able to learn,” Rockford said. “I share his commitment and dedication to working on behalf of the Jewish community.”

Vice Chair Ben Lusher will lead the national search for Rabbi Strear’s successor. Interim President & CEO Rockford will lead the organization and manage day-to-day operations. Rockford, a Colorado native, joined JEWISHcolorado in May 2021 after two decades in fundraising and communications in private education and foundation work. A daughter of a Holocaust survivor, she is the author of the award-winning book, “The Triumphant Spirit,” profiling the lives of nearly 100 survivors who came to the U.S. to build new lives. 

About JEWISHcolorado

JEWISHcolorado mobilizes resources to ensure that Jewish culture remains vibrant, secure, and accessible for all Jewish in Colorado and abroad. We act on issues of concern to the local community, steward our communal resources, and maintain living links with the people of Israel, in partnership with local, national, and international agencies.

About Staff

They call me "NewsHound IV," because I'm a clever Finnegan, sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was a rescue pup and glad to be on the scent!

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