Richard Siegel comes to HUC-JIR/LA with a distinguished background in Jewish communal service, arts administration and cultural entrepreneurship. His major career was with the National Foundation for Jewish Culture (now the Foundation for Jewish Culture) where he worked for 28 years until June 2006, the last 16 years as Executive Director. Prior to that, he was the first Hillel Director at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he founded the Long Island Jewish Arts Festival which became the model for similar festivals around the country. His work at the foundation has been credited as putting the arts onto the agenda of the Jewish community. He initiated the Jewish Endowment for the Arts and Humanities to provide funding support for artists, scholars and cultural institutions, with programs such as the Fund for Jewish Documentary Filmmaking, the Fund for New Play Commissions in Jewish Theater, and the 6-Points Fellowships in the Arts. He also organized major national and international conferences and festivals in theater, dance, music, literature and visual arts, and produced several award winning National Public Radio programs. Richard's master's thesis at Brandeis was "A Theoretical Construct for 'The Jewish Whole Earth Catalog,'" which he subsequently developed into The Jewish Catalog (JPS, 1973), the best selling guide to the Jewish counter-culture. His other books include The Jewish Almanac (Bantam Books, 1981) and The Writer in the Jewish Community: An Israel-North America Dialogue (Associated University Press, 1993). He has written numerous chapters and articles on aspects of contemporary Jewish culture, as well as several strategic plans and field studies, including "The Commission Report on the Future of Jewish Culture in America" (2002). Among his awards and honors are the Bernard Reisman Award for Excellence in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University (2002) and the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award in Cultural Leadership from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture (2004). Richard is also a certified massage therapist and a citizen-activist on global climate change, trained by Al Gore and The Climate Project. He is working to bring greater awareness of the moral implications of global warming to the Jewish community through his chairing the Greening the Synagogue Campaign at Temple Emanuel and serving on the COEJL-SC Greening the Synagogue Taskforce.