Director of Community Engagement: Catherine Fischer
Catherine Fischer began her job as Director of Community Engagement at Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Center City Philadelphia in January 2008. Prior to this, she served for 4 years as the Coordinator of the Kehillah of Center City where she worked with Center City Philadelphia congregations to strengthen Jewish life. From 2002-2004, Catherine was the Regional Director of Outreach and Membership for the Union for Reform Judaism serving synagogues in Pennsylvania, south Jersey, and surrounding areas. While working with the Union for Reform Judaism, Catherine became a certified Outreach Fellow which trained her to support people considering, in the process of, or who have just completed conversion to Judaism.
Throughout her Jewish professional career, Catherine has worked to help congregations strengthen their welcome and better able to provide meaningful and relevant opportunities for our diverse Jewish community. Her energy and dedication to helping congregations comes from the belief that there is nothing more important in one’s life than being connected to a Jewish community where one is embraced for who he/she is throughout one’s life. It is an honor to work with the clergy, leadership, and congregation at Rodeph Shalom to make that vision a reality. Rabbi Bill Kuhn articulates this idea in his 2011 Rosh Hashanah morning sermon when he states that Rodeph Shalom strives to...
…be a congregation which encourages Jews to search for meaning, community and connection, to counter the feelings of loneliness, despair and dislocation in our world – a place where people can tell their stories and be valued – and not be judged. We will be a Congregation of Conversations, a Congregation of Relationships, and a congregation where all of us are passionate about Judaism.
Catherine has a BA from Bard College and an M.Ed from Shady Hill School and Lesley College (now known as Lesley University.)
Catherine lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey with her husband, Richard. She has two grown children, David and Sarah. Catherine and Richard have been members of Rodeph Shalom for 7 years.