Rabbi Robert Orkand
Ordained as a Rabbi in 1973, Rabbi Robert Orkand retired from the pulpit rabbinate in June, 2014. At the time of his retirement he was the Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel in Westport, CT, a Reform Jewish congregation of over 850 families.Prior to his arrival in Westport in 1982 he served as an assistant rabbi at Temple Israel in Miami, Florida and as Rabbi of Temple Beth-El in Rockford, IL.
Rabbi Orkand served as Chair of the Human Services Commission of the Town of Westport, as President of United Way of Westport-Weston, and as President of the Westport-Weston Clergy Association.In 1989 he received the Westport Chamber of Commerce “Community Commitment Award.” In 1998 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2004 the Connecticut Yankee Council of the Boy Scouts of America awarded Rabbi Orkand its “Distinguished Citizen Award.”
Rabbi Orkand served as Chair of the National Commission on Jewish Education for the Reform movement. In addition, he has served on the National Camp Commission of the Reform Movement, the Publications Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Small Cities Committee of the CCAR, and has chaired the Program Committee of Eisner Camp Institute. For the four years prior to his retirement he served as the President of ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America) and has served as Chair of that organization’s “Israel Matters” initiative, as a Vice-President, and Associate Treasurer. Because of his involvement with ARZA, he traveled to Israel several times a year, as well as to numerous countries where there are liberal Jewish communities. Rabbi Orkand has co-authored three prayer books for children, published by CCAR Press: Gates of Wonder, Gates of Awe and A Children’s Haggadah.
In addition, the Rabbi served as a member of the State and county boards of ADL UJA/Federation of Westport-Weston-Wilton-Norwalk and on the Fairfield County Board of the National Conference of Community and Justice. He has also served as the International Rabbi of Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.
Retired to the Boston area, Rabbi Orkand serves as the Chair of the Health Care Team of GBIO (Greater Boston Interfaith Organization) and has taught adult education in a variety of settings.
Rabbi Orkand is married to Joyce and is the father of Seth, a graduate of Brown University and Boston College Law School, father-in-law of Kate, and the proud grandfather of Noa and Sarah.
CCAR Press works include:
|Gates of Wonder: A Prayerbook for Very Young Children||Gates of Awe: Holy Day Prayers for Young Children||A Children's Haggadah|