Alan Herman recently joined CBE as our Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer. Alan previously served as the Executive Director of Sutton Place Synagogue, and was an active lay leader at Central Synagogue and member of their Board of Trustees. He is deeply committed to social justice and building community, and looks forward to sharing meaningful moments together with CBE for many years to come.
Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer
Photographed and Interviewed by Nate Jaffe, Communications Associate
“Being part of a meaningful community is so important to me. It was apparent to me after my first visit that CBE is a community that will enhance my life both personally and professionally. ” – Alan
Nate: Where were you/what were you doing before you came to work at CBE?
Alan: Before joining CBE I had the great opportunity to be the Executive Director at Sutton Place Synagogue in Manhattan. Prior to becoming an Executive Director, I spent close to 28 years in the for-profit world in various roles within the consumer products industry.
Nate: Where are you from? If not, NYC, how did you get here?
Alan: I am a life-long New Yorker. I was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Staten Island and have spent the majority of the past 30+ years in Manhattan.
Nate: What in your life are you most proud of?
Alan: Definitely my wife Miriam and daughter Noa. Hearing their combined laughter reminds me how lucky I am.
Nate: Who inspires you or who is someone you look up to?
Alan: My greatest inspiration is Noa. Through her eyes I see all of the great things that life holds.
Nate: Describe a past experience, from any point in your life, that defined or impacted who you are today.
Alan: Sleepaway camp had such a tremendous impact on my life. I was a kid who counted down the days of the year until the next summer began. At camp I came out of my shell and gained confidence and truly became myself. My closest friends in the world are still people that I met at camp over 40 years ago.
Nate: Where do you usually go when you have time off?
Alan: Central Park. We truly look at the park as our backyard. I love that you can always discover something new about the park each time that you are there.
Nate: What motivates you?
Alan: Making certain that whatever it is that I am doing, I am doing it in a way that my daughter and wife would be proud of.
Nate: How do you define success?
Alan: Being able to do something that you love surrounded by people you love.
Nate: If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?
Alan: Ellen Degeneres. I think she is hysterical and if I am going to do something I always want to learn from the best (and funniest).
Nate: Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been to?
Alan: In my days working in the for-profit world I traveled a great deal, including frequent trips to Asia. I think the most interesting and impactful place I visited was the Philippines. I truly had the opportunity to make relationships with my colleagues and get to learn about the country and the culture.
Nate: Where in the world have you never been to but have always wanted to visit?
Alan: Miriam’s family is from Budapest. Several years ago she had the opportunity to go there with her grandmother and aunt and the trip had such an impact on her life. I would love to be able to go there and experience it with both Miriam and Noa.
Nate: If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and why?
Alan: Without a doubt it would be my father-in-law. Miriam lost her dad as a kid and I never had the opportunity to meet him. He had such a positive impact on who Miriam is and I would love to just ask him a zillion questions and most importantly say thank you to him.
Nate: If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Alan: Is this a trick question?! Pizza of course!
Nate: What is your favorite movie, tv show, or book of all time?
Alan: Another trick question?! Rocky 2 of course. When I was offered the position at CBE I definitely thought about running up the steps of the Sanctuary Building while listening to the Rocky theme song.
Nate: What are you currently watching on Netflix or what are you currently reading?
Alan: I am currently reading The Reckoning by John Grisham. I think he is the ultimate storyteller.
Nate: What’s your favorite quote or mantra?
Alan: “This too shall pass”.
Nate: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Alan: “Everything is going to be okay…just be open minded to what okay may look like”.