Rabbi Amy Hertz will be leaving Rodef Shalom Congregation this June at the conclusion of her five-year contract.
Since coming to Pittsburgh following her ordination from the Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2008, Hertz has been Rodef Shalom’s assistant and associate rabbi, and was the congregation’s first director of lifelong learning.
Hertz notified the congregation’s leadership in September that she would “pursue new professional opportunities” at the end of her current contract, according to a notice sent to congregants from Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Rodef Shalom’s senior rabbi, and Ann Roth, president of the congregation.
“I’m incredibly grateful for what Rabbi Hertz has brought to out community,” Bisno told the Chronicle. “Her energy, her enthusiasm and her ideas have been an important part of what we’ve achieved these past four years. And I’m confident we will be able to build on what she has done here.”
Hertz currently is one of three rabbis at Rodef Shalom, along with Bisno and Rabbi Sharyn Henry. The congregation’s new strategic plan, Bisno said, will provide for two rabbis, but the congregation is expecting to create new positions to engage with various segments of the Rodef Shalom community.
“We are looking at different configurations to see how we can serve our community best,” Roth said.
During her tenure at Rodef Shalom, Hertz has worked with children and teens to engage with the congregation’s religious school, its Family Center and its youth group.
“She’s a warm and thoughtful person who has engaged beautifully with all our generations,” said Roth. “She just does that with ease. She’s marvelous with programming and a great presence on the bima. We have a really good history of training great rabbis, and she’s one of them.”
In an email to the Chronicle, Hertz said that she was grateful for the opportunity to have served Rodef Shalom for the last five years.
“I am especially thankful to the members of the community who welcomed me so warmly as their rabbi,” she said. “I am proud of the relationships that I have been able to build and the successes we have shared together, especially in the area of youth and families. I am looking forward to new opportunities in the rabbinate, and to serving the Jewish people.”
A farewell event will be planned in the next several months, Roth said.
“This was her decision,” Roth said. “We love Amy. I think this was just the natural course of things. She will be missed. We want her to know we were blessed by her presence.”
(Toby Tabachnick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)