Scott Reich, 29
Wednesday, June 5, 2013

@ScottDReich
Reform minded.

Scott Reich actually enjoyed Hebrew school. “I loved the stories about how things came to be, the traditions,” he said.

His love for his hometown of Roslyn, L.I., his family’s synagogue there, and even that early Hebrew school experience (“The teachers did a great job,”) made a deep impression. Today a corporate attorney for Willkie Farr & Gallagher in Midtown, Reich retains his strong connection to Jewish institutional life.

Last year, he became the youngest member of the North American board of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the umbrella organization that leads the Reform movement. Working with Rabbi Michael White of Temple Sinai in Roslyn, he founded “Sinai in the City,” a young professionals’ group comprised of 20- and 30-somethings who hail from Roslyn and elsewhere, which holds events in Manhattan and boasts 150 participants. Issues that preoccupy a graying Jewish leadership in the U.S. call him to action as well.

“There are the same number of Jews in the U.S. as there were after World War II,” he said. “Keeping young people interested is a glaring need.”

His work on the URJ board has included contributing thoughts on how to build a “big tent” that appeals to young people and ways to promote the Biennial, the Reform movement’s largest event.

And his commitment to service is not limited to the Jewish community: through the New York Legal Assistance Group, he has done pro bono legal work for asylum seekers from Yemen, Tibet and the Republic of Congo, and has also volunteered legal services for Brooklyn Family Court.

Lessons of history: Reich’s other great interest is politics. He wrote a book, “The Power of Citizenship: Why John F. Kennedy Matters to a New Generation,” about extracting lessons from JFK’s presidency. It is slated for release in October. “The more I looked at Kennedy’s major speeches, the more I saw a central theme: the idea of citizenship, that we belong to a community larger than ourselves, that we have the obligation to give back to society and each other.”

 

Contributing editor / blueprint editor

Comments

It's great to see that you have continued to pursue your great passion for history but also for people, Scott, and making our world a better place for all. These strong concerns were already evident when you and I shared classes at Wheatley. I'm proud of you.

Scott congratulation on this wonderful honor. Back when you were senior at Wheatley I started that year as the Technology Specialist - Rochelle Sroka. I have been at Wheatley for the past 13 years and still remember you well. You left a very strong impression that you will be very successful in all you do. I passed this article around to the Wheatley staff...

Scott, you make Temple Sinai so proud!

Congratulations Scott! You sound like an incredibly committed and inspirational individual. I can't wait to read your book.

It's a pleasure to read a positive article on the impact of young Jewish adults and the importance of keeping current and future generations involved in the Jewish community.

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