Marcy Harris, a distinguished attorney and nonprofit leader, was inducted to the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at its meeting in New York on April 7, 2022. She is the immediate past President of Westchester Reform Temple (2017-2021), where she has provided visionary leadership for the largest Reform congregation in Westchester County, NY, for more than a decade. Recently appointed Co-Chair of HUC-JIR’s Eastern Region Board of Advisors, she served previously as Vice Chair of the advisory board, as a member of its executive committee, and as chair of its academic affairs committee, supporting the administration and advancement team to promote HUC-JIR’s programs, raise its profile and impact among Advisors and external supporters, and grow its resources.
“Marcy Harris brings a passionate commitment to HUC-JIR’s mission and deep expertise in congregational leadership in the Reform Movement. She is a great source of wisdom and guidance as we prepare the next generation of leaders for the Jewish public sphere and beyond,” stated HUC-JIR President Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D.
Harris was a litigator at the New York-based law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP for more than thirty years, where she served as litigation partner (1997-2017) and handled complex financial cases, as well as trusts & estates litigations. Throughout her career, she represented investment managers and financial entities in federal courts, before the SEC and other regulators, and in arbitrations and mediations. She also represented fiduciaries and charitable entities in will contests and trusts disputes in New York state courts, and in mediations, and conducted internal investigations for independent schools and foundations related to conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and related governance matters.
During her four-year tenure as President of Westchester Reform Temple, Harris supervised the temple’s executive director and senior clergy team; helped develop a congregational program to attract and retain young families; and implemented succession planning for the temple’s early childhood center and religious school. In addition, she oversaw three successful clergy searches; created and filled new development and social media management positions, and helped grow the temple’s finances. She also oversaw the funding and implementation of a comprehensive synagogue safety and security program for the temple’s suburban campus; oversaw the development and implementation of synagogue and life cycle Covid-19 protocols; and oversaw the development and adoption of various written policies and procedures designed to strengthen the temple’s operations and governance.
Harris has also served on the Board of Advocates of Human Rights First, NY (2011-2018), a non-partisan international legal human rights organization that challenges American business and political leaders to promote human rights in the U.S. and around the world. As an Advocate, she provided support to further the financial and programmatic mission of HRF and provided legal guidance in areas of internet freedom and privacy.
Harris graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in History, magna cum laude, in 1980, worked as a professional journalist (1980-1983), and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1986.