An Interview with Ruth Geffner
First, welcome to BCC. We are very pleased that you have chosen to join our community as our new Executive Director. Could you tell us about your background working in the Jewish community and specifically in synagogue administration?
I started working in the Jewish community in high school at my temple as a classroom aide in the religious school. I didn’t think of it as a career at the time. I worked in a temple preschool during college and started working with Hillel after college in Silicon Valley. From there I transitioned to temple administration and have been working in temples ever since in Northern California and then at Temples Isaiah and Emanuel in Los Angeles.
Could you tell us about your educational background?
I grew up in Pasadena and went to Hebrew school through confirmation. I have a BA in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara. I plan to go back to school part time to obtain an MBA.
What in particular interested you about this position at BCC?
I enjoyed working with Felicia on High Holidays while I was at Temple Isaiah and had only positive experiences with BCC. When this position became available, I really enjoyed meeting the people who interviewed me and found BCC to be a very warm and friendly community. I wanted a place that wouldn’t be just a job but would mean more, and I believe BCC will be that kind of community for me.
What are your impressions so far about our congregation?
Everyone has been very welcoming and friendly. We have great clergy and staff and I look forward to working with them. I am very happy to be part of this community and look forward to getting to know everyone.
Do you have any specific goals in mind as you begin your work with our congregation?
I want to help keep things running smoothly, prepare for the new fiscal year, and help with fundraising and membership expansion and retention. I hope to encourage those who haven’t come as frequently to return and encourage younger members to get more involved to maintain energy for the future. I am also interested in religious school expansion and getting those
who have younger kids to become part of it.
Is there anything else you would like our members and friends to know about you?
I have been a youth group advisor to B’nai Brith Youth Organization as a volunteer in Northern California and here in LA. I also love traveling and baking in my spare time.