Joint Placement Commission

Who We Are - Joint Placement Commission ("JPC")

The Joint Placement Commission is the decision-making body for rabbinic pulpit placement in the Conservative movement. It consists of members from the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Rabbinical Assembly, the United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism, and the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.

Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham

Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham is a rabbi at Congregation B’nai Amoona in St. Louis, MO.  He has also served as Senior Rabbi at Congregation Agudas Achim in San Antonio, Texas and Congregation Sons of Israel in Nyack, New York. Rabbi Abraham is the first member of the clergy to be awarded San Antonio Business Journal’s prestigious recognition “40 Under 40.” Rabbi Abraham has served on the Executive Council of our RA since 2017 and on the Joint Placement Commission since 2019.  He also was the co-chair for the initial committee in working to strengthen ties between our RA and USCJ, and was on the Strategic Planning Committee for our RA.  Rabbi Abraham has received dozens of awards for his work in revitalizing and growing his synagogues. Rabbi Abraham was also a contestant on The American Bible Challenge game show with Jeff Foxworthy.

Rabbi Ari Averbach

Rabbi Ari Averbach (Ziegler 2015) was the rabbinic intern at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom of Northbrook, IL, and now serves as senior rabbi of Temple Etz Chaim in Thousand Oaks, CA. He is on the board of the Schulweis Institute and the Clinical Ethics Advisory Committee at Los Robles Hospital. He and his wife Vanessa have three children and enjoy doing crossword puzzles while eating ice cream.

Mr. William Bresnick, Esq.
William (Bill) Bresnick currently serves as the environmental counsel for the US Department of Homeland Security. He is a retired Air Force Judge Advocate who began his Jewish community roles as a lay leader in the Air Force. He has served as an officer and member of various non-profits including Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, MD, and the USCJ Seaboard Region and International boards.

Mindy Gordon

I am in my 12th year as the Synagogue Consultant for the Central District of USCJ.

I am a product of the Conservative Movement and a lifelong member of N.S.S. Beth El in Highland Park, IL. I was an active USYer, went on USY Israel Pilgrimage and was a camper, staff member and Board member at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin.

I am a graduate of Tufts University and The University of Chicago Law School and attended The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I also took part in the Wexner Heritage Program from 2006-2008. My husband and I have three grown children and 2 grandsons.

Rabbi Susan Leider

Rabbi Susan Leider is the first woman to be a senior rabbi at a Northern California Conservative congregation, (Congregation Kol Shofar) and the first woman to be Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth Am, Los Angeles.  She was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies

Now working as an independent rabbi, she has multiple RA roles: an Executive Council member, a Career Coach, a Mishpahah facilitator and an active participant in the Racial Justice and Progressive Zionists Groups. 

A contributing writer to exploring, she is also a part of the Roots Clergy Council, a unique network of Palestinians and Israelis living in the West Bank. 

A graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality (IJS) Clergy Leadership Program, she leads IJS virtual daily meditations, which reaches over 200 participants.

Rabbi Cheryl Peretz

Since 2001, Cheryl Peretz has served as one of the deans of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, teaching, counseling, advising and programming. For more than 20 years, she has worked with rabbis and organizations in issues of placement and leadership development. As a teacher in the school, she trains rabbis in Jewish law and in practical rabbinics. In addition to her work at AJU, Rabbi Peretz has served as a pulpit rabbi in the Los Angeles area.  She has been a High Holiday guest rabbi in Chicago, Illinois, Orlando, Florida, and Los Angeles, Redlands and Tiburon, California. She has also published articles in several books and publications. Cheryl is a 1988 graduate of the double degree program between Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where she earned degrees in Mathematics and Jewish Philosophy.


Margie Pomerantz
Margie Pomerantz is a long time USCJ Board Member where she has served as a Vice President, International Secretary, Chair of the Human Resources Committee, Joint Steering Committee and has been involved with many RA/USCJ alignment projects.  She is a former president of her synagogue, Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, CA where she currently chairs COVID Response Taskforce.  Professionally, Margie worked in high tech in many functions including Human Resources, training, professional services and consulting.  Margie and her husband, Howard, live in Los Gatos, California and are proud parents and grandparents.

Rabbi Adam Raskin

Rabbi Adam Raskin has been senior rabbi of Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, MD since 2011.  Prior to that he served as rabbi of Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson, TX and assistant rabbi at Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas, TX.  Adam also serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Assembly, and has been a member of the Nominations Committee as well.  He completed his undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University, where he earned a degree in Jewish Studies, and was ordained at JTS in 2002.  He has served on the boards of the Jewish Federations of Greater Washington, and Dallas; as well as the Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, MD.  Adam was also president of the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas, and is co-founder of Potomac Area Interfaith Communities. He recently benefitted from the wisdom of the JPC when hiring a talented graduate of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies as associate rabbi in the Spring of 2022.

Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay
Stephanie Ruskay is the Associate Dean of the JTS Rabbinical School. She has made her career in the Jewish social justice sector. She served in leadership positions at American Jewish World Service, Auburn Theological Seminary, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, and JOIN for Justice. She directs field education and entrepreneurial endeavors and is focused on raising the scope and profile of social justice work and community organizing skills in the role of the contemporary rabbi.

Rabbi Annie Tucker (chair)

Annie Tucker is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, NY, having previously served at Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah in Wilmette, IL, and The Jewish Center in Princeton, NJ.  She is also a member of the Rabbinical Assembly's Administrative and Executive Councils and serves as its Secretary.  Annie did her undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania where she studied Psychology and Jewish Studies and received both a Master's Degree in Jewish Education and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary.  She has been a member of the Joint Placement Commission since 2017 and its Chair since June of 2021.