Mar 21, 2017
The Rabbinical Council of America and Beth Din of America announce the appointment of Mrs. Abby Lerner to the newly created position of National Director of the Conversion Services of the Network of Regional Batei Din for Conversion, known as the GPS (Geirus Policy and Standards), the network of conversion courts established in 2008 to serve communities throughout North America.
The position of National Director of Conversion Services was created as a result of a recommendation made by a review committee following a year-long process of consultation and evaluation whose goal was to improve the experiences of candidates as they prepare for conversion to Judaism. As director, Mrs. Lerner will assume responsibility for the support of candidates in their conversion process, work towards enhancing their formal and informal educational experiences, develop and enhance groups and networks for their support and mentoring, increase understanding and sensitivity to converts in the larger Jewish community, create a grievance process for candidates, and develop enhanced support for sponsoring rabbis of conversion candidates. She will also coordinate the process of regular reviews of the conversion courts in order to ensure their continued maintenance of the high standards and procedures of the GPS. Mrs. Lerner will work alongside Rabbi Michoel Zylberman, GPS Director, and Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of America.
Mrs. Lerner comes to the position as a seasoned professional, having served the Young Israel of Great Neck together with her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Lerner, for 40 years. She recently retired, after 28 years, as the Director of Admissions and teacher of the Senior Class at Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Central).
Rabbi Shalom Baum, president of the RCA, said, “We are confident that the hiring of Mrs. Lerner will bring an additional level of professionalism to the holy work of inspiring and protecting converts to Judaism.” "Abby Lerner possesses the emotional intelligence, keen insight, and personal warmth that are necessary for this new position," said Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President of the RCA. "She is understanding, discerning, and extremely qualified. We eagerly anticipate the many positive enhancements she will bring to the conversion process for the benefit of all those involved in it."