The CCAR Rabbinic Staff

Steven A. Fox | Hara Person | Alan Henkin | Dan Medwin | Victor Appell | Betsy Torop


Chief Executive


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Rabbi Steven A. Fox is the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the rabbinic leadership organization of Reform Judaism in North America and worldwide. Since joining the CCAR in 2006, Rabbi Fox has led the transformation of the CCAR into a 21st century organization, working to sustain and enrich the Jewish community to ensure a vibrant Jewish future.

Under Rabbi Fox's leadership, the CCAR has renewed its focus on strengthening the Jewish community by investing in the rabbis who lead it. Since Rabbi Fox took the CCAR helm, the organization has dramatically increased its support services for rabbis, including educational and spiritual offerings to meet the personal and professional needs of the rabbinate and their communities. In addition, under Rabbi Fox, the historic CCAR Press has become the leading publisher of an expanded library of liturgy and resources for the Reform Movement, including cutting-edge e-publications.

Rabbi Fox brings a varied and rich background to his CCAR leadership. He was ordained at HUC-JIR in 1980 and his early rabbinic career included service at Temple Emanuel in Worcester, Massachusetts and Temple Isaiah in Lexington, Massachusetts. He later served as an adjunct rabbi of Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles where he focused his work on spiritual growth through Jewish meditation, contemplative practices and study of sacred text.

Supplementing his rabbinic training, Rabbi Fox received his Juris Doctor degree to gain additional tangible business and legal skills. As a practicing attorney and managing partner in a Los Angeles based law firm, Rabbi Fox advised religious and secular non-profits, rabbis and cantors, congregations and other Jewish organizations on a variety of issues, such as contract matters, employment disputes, board relations, charitable gifts and grants, rabbinic wellness and other organizational concerns. He is also a trained mediator, helping to resolve many diverse and challenging disputes between rabbis, cantors, educators and congregations.

Rabbi Fox has also been actively involved in raising the profile of the CCAR to its membership and the Jewish community. He has represented the CCAR at the White House on several occasions, and most recently attended both the 2013 Inauguration of President Barack Obama and the National Prayer Service. Rabbi Fox is a sought out thought-leader in the Jewish community and in the Jewish press. He is a regular contributor to RavBlog, the blog of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.


Publisher and Director,
CCAR Press
& Director of Strategic

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Rabbi Hara Person is the Publisher and Director of the CCAR Press, where she works with CCAR leadership and members to produce books and other publications for rabbis, congregations, and the Jewish community. She also oversees the publication of the CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly.

Rabbi Person was ordained in 1998 from HUC-JIR, after graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College (1986) and receiving an MA in Fine Arts from New York University's International Center of Photography (1992). Before coming to the CCAR, Rabbi Person was the Editor in Chief of URJ Books and Music, where she was responsible for the revision of The Torah: A Modern Commentary (2005) and the publication of many significant projects, including the Aleph Isn't Tough adult Hebrew series and Mitkadem : Hebrew for Youth as well as several award-winning children's books. While at URJ, she was also the Managing Editor of The Torah: A Women's Commentary , named the National Jewish Book Award Book of the Year in 2008.

Rabbi Person is also the author of Stories of Heaven and Earth: Bible Heroes in Contemporary Children's Literature, That You May Live Long: Caring for Your Aging Parents, Caring for Yourself (co-editor) , and The Mitzvah of Healing (editor). Her essays and poems have been published in various anthologies and journals, including Bridges, upstreet, Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture, Women and Judaism, The Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature, and The Women's Haftarah Commentary .

Since 1998, Rabbi Person has been the high holy day rabbi of Congregation B'nai Olam, Fire Island Pines, NY, and she has been named Adjunct Rabbi at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, where she teaches adult education classes.

Rabbi Person lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, Yigal Rechtman, and their two teenage children.


Director of Placement


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Rabbi Alan Henkin became the Director of Rabbinic Placement in July 2011. Prior to that, he was the Union Rabbi for the West District of the Union for Reform Judaism. In that position he was responsible for rabbinic and cantorial services to 220 congregations in the URJ's West District with a portfolio specializing in clergy-board relations, clergy-staff relations, clergy-president relations, clergy-related crisis management, placement and transition. He also served as Regional Director of the Pacific Southwest Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (later the Union for Reform Judaism) from July, 2000, to June, 2009. In that role he oversaw programs, services and operations for a five-state, 85-congregation region.

Before that, for ten years he was the rabbi of Congregation Beth Knesset Bamidbar in Lancaster, California. During the 1980s he was rabbi for Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf in Arleta, California. He has taught Modern Jewish Thought, Bible and Rabbinic Literature, “the Rabbi in the Hospital,” and Practical Rabbinics at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles.

He has served as the convener of the Council of Religious Leaders of Greater Los Angeles as well as the president of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, and he has sat on the Board of Overseers of HUC-JIR Los Angeles. While in Lancaster, California, he was a board member of the Lancaster Community Shelter (for the homeless), the American Cancer Society, and the Antelope Valley Interfaith Council.

Rabbi Henkin was ordained by Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati in 1980, and he holds a Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the School of Religion at the University of Southern California, where he also earned a B.A. magna cum laude.

Rabbi Henkin has published numerous articles in such journals as the American Rabbi, the Jewish Spectator, the Journal of Reform Judaism, the CCAR Journal, Judaism, the Reconstructionist and Reform Judaism. With Rabbi Paul Kipnes, he co-edited the Spring 2011symposium issue of the CCAR Journal on “New Visions of Jewish Community.”

He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and has four children.


Publishing Technology

Dan Medwin

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Rabbi Dan Medwin was ordained from Hebrew Union College ('10) where he also earned a Masters in Jewish Education. Dan began his undergraduate career at Brandeis University ('01) as a Computer Science major and spent his time working at the computer help desk.

Finding himself doing more counseling over deleted papers than technical help and wanting to pursue a life in the rabbinate, Dan switched to a double major in Judaic Studies and Sociology. Nevertheless, computers and technology have remained an active passion in his life. In addition to designing websites and creating interactive online learning modules, Dan has also developed a unique style of worship called Visual T'filah which utilizes art and imagery to enhance prayer and deepen connections to liturgy.

Dan works for the CCAR further developing Visual T'filah and offering his technical expertise to the Reform Movement, through webinars, workshops, and scholar-in-residence weekends on such topics as "Using Social Media to build Community" and "Using Technology in the Classroom."

Dan is married to his HUC classmate and life-journeyer, Rabbi Lydia Bloom Medwin, and they are the happy parents of Zimra, Gavriel, and Jasmine. Dan enjoys sharing the title "Rabbi Medwin" with his wife, as well as, with his mother.



Program Manager

Victor Appel

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Rabbi Victor Appell joined the staff of the CCAR as Program Manager in July 2015. He now leads the CCAR’s programmatic endeavors, including its lifelong learning program which established the CCAR as the central address for rabbinic education following ordination through retirement.

Rabbi Appell, a native New Yorker, brings to the CCAR, the rabbinate and the Reform Movement significant rabbinic experience, as well as a solid business background.  Rabbi Appell enjoyed a decade long career in sales and marketing, and then pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a rabbi.  After ordination at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1999, he served as Assistant and then Associate Rabbi of Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, IL.  Thereafter, he served Temple Emanu-El in Edison, NJ. In July of 2005, Rabbi Appell joined the staff of the Union for Reform Judaism where he served as the Director of Small Congregations, Co-Director of the Joint Commission on Synagogue Management, Outreach and Marketing Consultant, Congregational Marketing Director and editor-in-chief of Ten Minutes of Torah.

Rabbi Appell is the author of the "Think Small" sections in the URJ’s materials designed for synagogue leaders.  His writings have appeared in Achim Magazine, Torat ChayimTen Minutes of TorahKulanu Handbook, The Gender Gap, and The Still Small Voice - Reflections on Being a Jewish Man.

Rabbi Appell grew up in the Reform Movement. In high school, he served as a regional NFTY president. Rabbi Appell, his husband and their two children live in Metuchen, NJ.



Manager of Member

Betsy Torop

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Rabbi Betsy Torop was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH in 1990. Following her ordination, Rabbi Torop served as a rabbi in Melbourne, Australia for 8 years, first as an assistant rabbi at Temple Beth Israel and then with her husband, Rabbi Michael Torop, at the Leo Baeck Centre. Upon returning to the United States, Rabbi Torop served as the Director of Jewish Life and Learning at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center in Roslyn, NY and as rabbi at Congregation Shir Shalom in Bradenton, FL before becoming the Rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom in 2003. Rabbi Torop has contributed a study guide on Pirke Avot to the UAHC Significant Jewish Books Initiative and a commentary on Exodus, Chapter 1 to Beginning the Journey: Toward a Women's Commentary on Torah. She is a past chair of the CCAR Convention and has previously served as a CCAR board member and dues chair. She is the mother of three children.