"Extraordinary" is how Stuart Zimbalist describes Kenneth Rubin and his work at the Cedars at the JCA.
"It's very demanding," said Zimbalist, an attorney with Polsinelli Shughart who has worked with Rubin on the board of the JCA. "It's a very important community service and he has given his time and his talent to it. Sometimes there have been serious challenges and he has not been afraid of those challenges."
Challenges have not been in short supply for the Cedars but Rubin, who has served as president of the organization since 2003 and been a part of its board for about a decade, has handled it all with good cheer and a determination to maintain the institution's mission in the community. The volunteer job can consume anywhere from four to 25 hours of Rubin's week.
"He has certainly done the job to be considered an unsung hero," Zimbalist said. "That's for sure."
Mark H. Goran, a partner at the law firm of Bryan Cave agrees. Goran, who has worked with the JCA as counsel on various legal matters, said that Rubin is very committed to the Jewish community and provides just the right approach the organization requires.
"He's very even-keeled and well-reasoned," he said. "I think he tries to take the big picture into account and ultimately attempts to achieve resolutions of matters that are consistent with everyone's goals with the least amount of contentiousness."
Rubin is a native St. Louisan and partner at the accounting firm of Rubin Brown where he focuses on the professional services, manufacturing and distribution industries. A certified public accountant, Rubin, 52, received the second best score in the state on his CPA exam in 1979 earning him the Silver Medal Award from the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Elijah Watts Sells Award.
He's also been involved with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants, serving on committees at the national level and acting as a speaker as well as doing training sessions.
Within the Jewish community, he is a member of the board of the Jewish Federation, a former president of the Central Agency for Jewish Education and an involved member of Congregation B'nai Amoona. Still, Rubin is best known for his work at the JCA.
"I've developed a lot of good relationships both with the internal staff of the JCA, as well as the board and executive committee members," he said. "Since the situation's been difficult for us a lot of us have continued to serve on the board much longer than is typical with non-profits. Developing those relationships and everybody's dedication has been really great."
The toughness of the job hasn't dampened his enthusiasm for the task.
"I enjoy being involved, giving back to the community and learning," he said. "As much as a difficulty as it's been, it's also been a learning experience. I enjoy the opportunity to get involved in situations that allow me to see different things that I haven't seen before."
FAMILY: Wife, Jane Tzinberg Rubin and two daughters, Jessica, 23 and Danielle, 20
OCCUPATION: Partner, RubinBrown accounting firm
FUN FACT: Rubin is an avid golfer who has enjoyed the sport since age 11.