The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has engaged Rabbi Amy Bardack to serve in a new position, as director of Jewish education and community capacity building. Rabbi Bardack, currently the Judaic studies director, Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston, will begin her duties in Pittsburgh on July 1, 2016.
“This is truly a dream opportunity for me,” said Rabbi Bardack, “to have an impact on Jewish learning, from childhood through elder years, in a community committed to growth and continuous improvement. I am so impressed with the strength of Jewish life in Greater Pittsburgh, and I am excited to work with Pittsburgh’s many educational partners in thinking about how to move Jewish education to the next level of excellence.”
In her new position, Rabbi Bardack will work to ensure high-quality Jewish programs in the community, boost engagement of Jews of all ages and backgrounds and strengthen Jewish identity and leadership. Among the groups with which she will collaborate are the Jewish Life and Learning Commission, the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future Grant-Making Committee and the Day School Council.
Rabbi Bardack will bring to Pittsburgh more than 15 years of experience in day school settings. In that context she pioneered a new approach to Hebrew instruction, published two children’s prayer books and spearheaded several strategic planning and visioning processes. She has experience as a congregational rabbi, is the current president of the New England Rabbinical Assembly and was a fellow with Rabbis Without Borders.
Rabbi Bardack holds a BA in religion from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Hebrew letters from American Jewish University. She received her rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York City.
In describing Rabbi Bardack’s background, Deborah Baron — chief operating officer, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh — said, “Amy brings a wealth of experience in innovating new programs, strategic planning and visioning. She has the ability to understand the needs of unique institutions while seeing the larger community picture. At the Federation, we are excited to welcome Amy and her family to Pittsburgh.”
Rabbi Bardack will move to Pittsburgh with her husband — Jared Magnani, MD — and children Ilan (age 14) and Orelle (age 12). Dr. Magnani, who is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular medicine, will work as a physician and researcher at the University of Pittsburgh.
Rabbi Bardack’s position at the Federation arises from the Federation’s adoption, in 2015, of the lifespan education programs of the Agency for Jewish Learning (AJL). The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh now operates what were AJL’s teen programs.
The first public event at which Pittsburgh’s Jewish community will be able to meet Rabbi Bardack will be at the Unsung Jewish Heroes Awards, Sunday, May 22, 5–6 p.m., Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill. Information about this event is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 412-992-5249.