The 92nd Street Y, a landmark Jewish institution on the Upper East Side, made two major personnel announcements this week.
Henry Timms, who earlier served as the Y’s deputy executive director for innovation, strategy and content, was appointed executive director. And Rabbi Peter Rubinstein, longtime senior rabbi at Central Synagogue in Manhattan, will become the Y’s director of Jewish community, and head of its Bronfman Center for Jewish Life, in September.
Timms, who most recently served as interim executive director at the Y, succeeds Sol Adler, who was fired last year after the institution learned that Adler, who was married, had taken part in an “undisclosed long term personal relationship” with a subordinate.
"Our search for our new Executive Director was far-reaching and comprehensive,” said Stuart J. Ellman, president of the 92Y Board of Directors, “and we were fortunate to have had such a strong internal candidate in Henry.”
Timms, who earlier this month was named a national finalist for Independent Sector's "American Express Next Generation Leadership" award, has played a role at the Y in a comprehensive strategic review that the Y said “resulted in the organization’s strongest bottom line in many years,” and in creating #GivingTuesday, a national day that has united 10,000 partners in all 50 states.
"Henry has a remarkable talent for bringing people and organizations together across sectors and then harnessing the power of those partnerships to foster good works and ultimately create a better world," said Kathy Calvin, president of the United Nations Foundation, a founding partner of the Social Good Summit and #GivingTuesday with 92Y.
In his new position, Rabbi Rubinstein, who is retiring as senior rabbi at Central Synagogue this summer, will oversee the Y’s Jewish programming and "seek to build a vibrant Jewish institution … alongside and in partnership with synagogues and others," he wrote in a statement to his congregants. He noted that his new role "will not involve any lifecycle or prayer leadership" at the Y.
“Peter has been at the vanguard of making certain that Jewish tradition remains relevant and vibrant for our modern world and for generations to come,” Ellman said. “His lifelong commitment to teaching and learning, his steadfast leadership in the Jewish community, his work on defining the Rabbi’s role for the 21st century and his dedication to interfaith dialogue speak eloquently to 92Y’s Jewish identity.”
Rabbi Rubinstein, who was ranked third in Newsweek’s 2012 list of “America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis,” is a founder and Chair of the Rabbinic Council of the World Union of Progressive Judaism, and has served on the boards of several organizations, including Auburn Theological Seminary, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, and UJA-Federation of New York.