OU Announces Rabbi Steven Weil of Beverly Hills as Next Executive Vice President

May 6, 2008


The Orthodox Union announced today that Rabbi Steven Weil, 42, Senior Rabbi at Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills, CA, an Orthodox Union member synagogue, has been selected to assume the position of Executive Vice President – the Chief Professional Officer – of the OU, effective July 1, 2009. Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, who has occupied the position since 2002, will transition to the newly-created position of Executive Vice President Emeritus to allow him to spend more time writing, lecturing and representing the OU in many different areas.

Prior to his eight-year leadership at Beth Jacob in Beverly Hills, the largest Orthodox congregation outside the metropolitan New York area, Rabbi Weil served as Rabbi of Young Israel of Oak Park in Michigan, also an OU member synagogue.

The appointment of Rabbi Weil was approved by the OU’s Executive Committee, its most senior lay leaders, following a six-month national search. At the meeting, Rabbi Weil presented his vision for the future of the organization, according to OU President Stephen J. Savitsky of Long Island, NY. Rabbi Weil is expected to arrive at the Orthodox Union to begin working alongside Rabbi Weinreb next year.

In a statement following the meeting, Mr. Savitsky declared:

“We are extremely pleased that Rabbi Steven Weil will be joining us as Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union. Rabbi Weil has demonstrated in both his positions in Beverly Hills and Detroit that he is a remarkable leader. He brings energy, vision, and an incredible work ethic to this position. We look forward to his leadership and building on the great foundation that has been established by Rabbi Weinreb.

“Rabbi Weinreb, who in his six years at the Orthodox Union has been recognized as one of the foremost Jewish leaders of our time, will continue with the organization in his capacity as Executive Vice President Emeritus and will expand his role as a leading spokesman for Orthodox Jewry worldwide.”

Rabbi Weil, a charismatic, sought-after orator and skilled fundraiser, is a native of upstate New York and graduate of Yeshiva University. Concurrently with his rabbinical training at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, he received an MBA in Finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business. In addition to his leadership at Beth Jacob in Beverly Hills, he dedicates his energies to serving the Harkham-Hillel Hebrew Academy, to mentoring many top young rabbis in the U.S., and to lecturing around the world as Scholar-In-Residence for such organizations as the National Young Leadership Cabinet of the United Jewish Communities.

A Dynamic Visionary

A dynamic visionary with remarkable success in organizing institutions and financing charities, Rabbi Weil has also been honored by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Governor Schwarzenegger, and Beverly Hills Mayors Webb and Delshad to deliver the invocations for them on numerous occasions. He and his wife Yael devote themselves to raising their three boys and four girls.

“There are untold numbers of Jews across the country,” said Rabbi Weil, “who are missing out on a real connection to the richness and beauty of Jewish life because they don’t have the resources, critical numbers, nor tools for growth. It is my dream that this position will afford me the opportunity to help them build the kinds of programs and experience the opportunities that they richly deserve.”

In a statement Rabbi Weinreb declared, “As I have previously announced, I will be stepping down as Executive Vice President on July 1, 2009 and will be assuming the position of Executive Vice President Emeritus. This will allow me to continue to be the “face” of the Orthodox Union, representing it by speaking and writing, attending conferences, dealing with the media, and in many other capacities.

“The OU’s Executive Committee has chosen as my successor a distinguished rabbi whom I have known and worked with for many years. I look forward to working very closely with him in the years to come, and am confident that our past relationship will facilitate that process.

“Rabbi Weil brings to the position many outstanding strengths, which he has displayed throughout his rabbinic career, especially in his current position in Beverly Hills. At his invitation, I have visited his synagogue and spoken there numerous times, and have witnessed the phenomenal growth of his shul in terms of the size of its membership and the dynamic programming that he has initiated. I wish him every success.”

The Search Committee which chose Rabbi Weil was under the chairmanship of Dr. Steven Katz of Teaneck, New Jersey.

In a letter to Executive Committee members before their meeting, Mr. Savitsky wrote:

“The Search Committee worked diligently for the last six months in order for us to find the very best candidate to assume this important leadership role both at the OU and in world Jewry. The committee has left no stone unturned and met with and reviewed an extensive list of potential candidates before making the final decision. There was literally not one recommendation from any lay leader or senior professional staff member that was not followed through thoroughly. As a member of the Committee, I witnessed the diligence and the professionalism by which the entire Search Committee operated. It was after extensive research and interviews that the Committee selected Rabbi Steven Weil for this most important position.”