2018 Annual Message from our Chair
Over the past three years, we've undertaken substantial improvements to your plan and this year the momentum continues to further enhance the quality of our offerings and service. As we begin 2019, I’d like to highlight the major achievements in 2018, give you an overview of what's planned for this year, and let you know about changes to RPB's Board of Trustees.
2018: Major Achievements
Your board approved and your professional team implemented the following major milestones: Roth post-tax contributions to the 403(B) Plan, a 403(b) loan program, a new system for employers to manage plan participants, a new auditor and investment consulting firm to improve the value these relationships bring to RPB, and the ability for congregations to invest in our precedent-setting Reform Jewish Values Fund.
The RJV fund is the first and only fund of its kind that was built by and reflects the values of the Reform Movement. RPB Board of Trustees Vice Chair, Rabbi Howard Shapiro, led the RJV Fund Task Force comprised of representatives from CCAR, URJ, the Commission on Social Action and RPB. It was a tremendous effort for which we're all grateful.
2019: Phase 2 of RPB's Modernization Plan
This year we will begin phase two of a comprehensive review and upgrade of RPB’s internal systems and external vendor relationships. I believe it’s critical that your plan is kept current with the latest and most appropriate technology to maintain an efficient operation and improve how we deliver our services to you.
Under the direction of Michael Kimmel, RPB’s Executive Director, we've increased the staff's professional capabilities which makes it possible for us to not only offer enhancements and new products to your plan, but also to review other aspects of our business. We’re currently taking a fresh look at RPB’s Board of Trustees governance role and created a Board Governance and Development task force spearheaded by Rabbi Bruce Raff (RPB Board Secretary/Treasurer), who has led prior governance review task forces at RPB.
Other RPB News
As happens with all governing boards, at the end of 2018 we said l’hitraot to three RPB board members, all of whom served RPB with distinction: Michael Laufer from URJ (9 years), Rick Rosenberg, Jr. from NATA (4 years), who we also wish all the best in his upcoming retirement, and Rabbi Howard Shapiro from CCAR.
We give a special thanks to Rabbi Howard Shapiro who served on RPB’s board for more than 27 years—the last six of which he held the important leadership position of Vice Chair. Howard's contributions to RPB are multi-faceted. With his soft voice and collegial manner he was able to get many things done, including the creation of the Reform Jewish Values Fund which will be his enduring legacy. Succeeding Howard as Vice Chair is Rabbi Ronne Friedman, who I know will continue Howard’s outstanding record of service. To fill the other board seats as well as two other additional vacancies we welcome Sue Gold and Amy Schwach from NATA, Lisa Lieberman Barzilai from ARJE, and Rabbi Ilene Haigh from CCAR.
I already mentioned Michael Kimmel, your Executive Director, and also want to mention Alyce Gunn (CFO), Robert Perry (Director of Participant and Employer Services) and Stephanie Berger (Director of Marketing and Communications), the RPB's senior staff who are extremely talented and who could run a country, but we only ask them to make sure that YOU are taken care of.
Even though we’re a business managing over $1.2 billion in assets, we’re also ever mindful of our mission to assist you in achieving a dignified retirement. The relationship we have with you is special—we will always listen and never become impersonal.
G. Leonard Teitelbaum
Chair of the Board