JEWISHcolorado has announced the departure of Rabbi Jay Strear as President & CEO, effective Nov. 30. The organization will launch a national search for his successor. Renée Rockford, JEWISHcolorado’s Chief Advancement Officer, will serve as interim President & CEO.
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.
“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.