Daryl Messinger Will Become First Woman to Chair the URJ Board of Trustees



Daryl Messinger of Palo Alto, CA, has been nominated to serve as the next Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Messinger will become the first woman to hold the top lay leadership position in the URJ, which represents the largest and fastest growing constituency of Jews in North America, including nearly 900 synagogues and 1.5 million individuals.

Messinger was nominated by the Board’s Special Nominating Committee, and her nomination will be formally presented to the full Board of Trustees at the URJ Biennial 2015 in Orlando, FL, taking place November 4-8, 2015. She will succeed Stephen M. Sacks, of Washington, D.C., who will have served the maximum allowable four years as Chair.

Messinger has served on the URJ Board for 15 years and in Reform Movement affiliated organizations in a wide variety of roles. A dynamic leader with a track record of sustained involvement and success, she will be concluding service as chair of the Reform Pension Board, which serves Reform Movement professionals and has a total portfolio of more than $1.2 billion.

She has been a key partner in helping to implement the URJ’s Campaign for Youth Engagement and in shaping the URJ’s 2020 Vision strategic plan. She currently also serves as chair for URJ Camp Newman Advisory Board (in Santa Rosa, CA), where she has been instrumental in raising over $22 million to-date for Camp Newman’s renovation, including the recent $4 million gift from the Koret Foundation. Messinger previously served as a vice chair and an assistant treasurer of the URJ.

Messinger’s congregational lay leadership experience is extensive. She served, at the age of 36, as the youngest president of her then 1,100-member congregation, Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, CA. She has served in a variety of roles there including as treasurer, chair of its capital campaign, chair of the rabbinic search committee, and volunteer coordinator of an innovative family education program.

Said URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs,

Daryl will be an outstanding chair and an effective advocate for the Reform Movement. Daryl articulates an exciting and compelling vision for implementing the URJ’s bold 2020 Vision as our successful three-pronged action plan for the future of Reform Judaism: strengthening congregations, audacious hospitality, and tikkun olam (social justice).”

Messinger said of her nomination,

“It will be an incredible privilege to chair the Board of the Union for Reform Judaism. The opportunity before us is to help our 900 congregations envision and create a 21st Century Reform Judaism that is inclusive, adaptable and thriving. I owe much of my identity, relationships and sense of purpose to Reform Judaism.  I cannot imagine doing anything more meaningful and impactful.

This fall Messinger will once again represent ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America) as a delegate at the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, to help ensure that hundreds of millions of dollars in funding are allocated to initiatives and social programs that promote democratic principles and religious pluralism in Israel and abroad.

Said Peter J. Weidhorn, board chair of the Foundation for Jewish Camp Board Chair and immediate past chair of the URJ (who also chaired the Special Nominating Committee):

“I cannot imagine a better person to lead the Union Board at this pivotal moment. Daryl brings a knowledge of the URJ, the Reform Movement, and the broader Jewish community that is not just wide but deep. She is greatly respected and will be a tremendous leader for the URJ.”

In addition to her Reform Movement involvement, Messinger currently serves on the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation’s endowment committee. She is also a past president of the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, and a past vice president and treasurer of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an alumna of the Wexner Heritage Program.

Prior to retiring in 2009, Messinger had various roles in both communications and investment management organizations. She served as executive vice president and strategic consultant at WeissComm Partners, Inc., an integrated marketing and communications firm. Early in her career, Messinger was an investment manager and partner of various funds managed by Glynn Capital Management, an investment advisory firm.

Messinger and her husband Jim Heeger live in Palo Alto, CA, and have two grown sons who live and work in the San Francisco Bay area.

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