Following a national search, the board of trustees at Tree of Life *Or L’Simcha Congregation has named a new executive director to oversee and help guide the synagogue as it plans for the future.
Barb Feige, who will start July 1 as TOL*OLS’s new executive director, is a nonprofit management professional with more than 25 years of experience.
“On behalf of our Board of Trustees, I am excited to announce that Barb will be joining Tree of Life in this full-time leadership capacity,” said Sam Schachner, board president of TOL*OLS, in a prepared statement. “We look forward to working with her in the weeks and months ahead as we plan for the High Holidays, the memorials and tributes that will mark the one-year commemoration honoring the victims of last October’s tragedy, and assisting in creating and then implementing the plan for our future.”
Feige graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University and attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. For the past 16 years, she worked for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, serving as the deputy director and director of administration.
After leaving the ACLU-PA in January, Feige said, she was looking for a new challenge.
“I very much wished to return to work in the Jewish community and felt that way before the Oct. 27 tragedy,” she said in a prepared statement. “That event had a further impact on what I wanted to do next. To be able to use my skills for this greater good — to help TOL manage the challenges ahead and to help the community heal — will be a professional challenge and a personal honor.”
Feige is a member of Shaare Torah Congregation, an Orthodox congregation in Squirrel Hill, where she served as its first female president.
The only child of two Holocaust survivors, Feige has been deeply involved in Jewish community organizations, having previously worked for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and the United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
She serves on the board of the Hebrew Free Loan Association and has served as a board member of Hillel Academy, Prevention Point Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle.
She is a recipient of the Sonia and Aaron Levinson Community Relations Award of the United Jewish Federation.
For the last 18 months, Feige has been a mentor for the Legacy Heritage Fund’s OnBoard program, which helps young board members of Jewish organizations learn the skills to provide effective governance.
Feige replaces Bill O’Rourke, who has served as interim executive director at TOL*OLS since February.
TOL*OLS is temporarily conducting services and business operations at Rodef Shalom in Oakland. PJC
— Toby Tabachnick