Executive Director Search Update from the Officers
We are very excited to announce that Valerie Russo will be the next Executive Director of Park Avenue Synagogue, commencing on May 10, 2021.
Just in time for Hanukkah, Park Avenue Synagogue officially opened its new and expanded campus on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. To meet the needs of its growing and vibrant community, which was bursting at the seams, the synagogue undertook a capital campaign, A Synagogue in Action: Building the Future, which ultimately raised $96 million with 97% participation from the congregation.
To mark the culmination of this six-year effort, PAS hosted a celebratory rededication event at its 87th Street building on Sunday, December 8. Honored guests included Cardinal Timothy Dolan and religious leaders of multiple faiths. City Council Member Keith Powers sent a proclamation from the City of New York. Major benefactors were honored, and the entire community participated in this once-in-a-generation moment.
The 87th Street building had not been renovated since 1981, when The New York Times hailed the effort as an “act of civic generosity.” Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove stated that “it was critical that throughout the development of the new campus the buildings continued to reflect our commitment to tradition and change. The success of PAS is not just about our physical architecture; it’s about our spiritual architecture—a community that meets people where they are and inspires them to journey to where they aspire to be.”
Chairman of the Board Marc Becker explained, “What we have accomplished here is quite staggering, but these walls are not what defines us, rather it’s our commitment to our values, to our community, and to generations to come.”
In October 2017, the synagogue dedicated the Eli M. Black Lifelong Learning Center in a newly renovated townhouse at 11 East 89th Street. At the same time, the synagogue also purchased the adjacent former Road Runners Club headquarters and began the major revitalization of its building on 87th Street and Madison Avenue.
Park Avenue Synagogue is a global leader in the Jewish world, with a long record of preserving Jewish tradition and innovating Jewish expression. From modest beginnings in the late 1800s, PAS has grown into a dynamic community seeking to inspire, educate, and support its more than 1750 member families towards living meaningful, passion-filled Jewish lives.