Peter Kasdan

When he retired in July 2001, after serving as Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El of West Essex, Livingston, N.J. for thirty years, Peter Kasdan was named Rabbi Emeritus/Consultant. Though now retired, his passion for Social Justice, NFTY, JFTY’s Mitzvah Corps and the UAHC’s Kutz Camp, the survival of the Ethiopian Jews and the People and State of Israel, all of which were a major part of his rabbinic career, continues to motivate him. While at Temple Emanu-El he served on the Commission of Social Action of Reform Judaism, the Board of ARZA/World Union, NA and the UAHC’s Camp Commission. Upon his retirement he assumed the Presidency of the Scholarship Fund for Ethiopian Jews and was subsequently named President Emeritus. His life-long efforts on behalf of the migrant worker community, specifically his support of, and personal friendship with Cesar Chavez and the multi-generations of the Chavez-Rodriguez family was, and remains, a personal commitment. He is the recipient of the UAHC’s Fund For Reform Judaism Distinguished Service Award, a NFTY Life Membership and the CCAR’s Rabbi Samuel Cook Award for Service to Youth. He currently serves as the Chair of the Canavan Foundation’s Rabbinic Advisory Committee, as the Rabbinic Advisor of the Jewish Genetic Disease Consortium and as Chair of the CCAR’s Task Force on Jewish Genetic Disease.


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