The international umbrella organization of several liberal streams of Judaism has named Reform leader Rabbi Daniel Freelander as its new president, the World Union of Progressive Judaism said in a press release.

Rabbi Freedlander, 61, who joined the staff of the Union of Reform Judaism in 1975 and will leave it as a senior vice president, will become head of the World Union of Progressive Judaism on Sept. 1.

The World Union of Progressive Judaism helps build Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist congregations in more than 45 countries. It also runs such programs as youth clubs in the former Soviet Union; interfaith food assistance in Israel and a Jewish studies program in Israeli public schools.

“Rabbi Freedlander brings with him wide leadership experience and a deep understanding of how to strengthen Jewish commitment and identity. His passion for engaging Jews globally through the values of Progressive Judaism makes him the ideal choice to lead the World Union,” said the world union’s chairman, Mike Grabiner, in the press release.

In his 39 years with the Reform Movement, Rabbi Freelander has directed its youth movement, served as a regional director of its congregational arm and directed its programs in North America.

“I am exceptionally excited to be able to apply my skills and love for vibrant synagogues on an international scale,” Rabbi Freelander said in the press release. “I look forward to learning about and developing new models for dynamic Jewish communities around the world.”

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