Steven Wernick, Attorney at Law
Steven Wernick of Wernick & Co, PLLC assists clients with Land Use/Zoning issues as well as Legislative/Governmental Affairs concerns.
Wernick took over USCJ as it was struggling, and immediately worked to reduce costs and streamline operations as well as promote professional training for synagogue lay leaders.
Early Life and Education
Wernick hails from Oregon but was raised in Southern California where he graduated from Loma Linda University. Since graduating, he has worked in dentistry for more than 25 years with expertise ranging from oral surgery and implantology to oral surgery and orthodontics.
At the USCJ, he introduced new initiatives to expand access for people with disabilities, LGBTQ community members and interfaith families. In addition, he implemented organizational reform by shrinking board sizes and discontinuing costly outreach programs.
Some of his moves prompted significant backlash. A former board member pointed out that some of his initiatives, like convincing the group to increase contributions, led to older and poorer members being removed from leadership roles and replaced with wealthier individuals.
Steven Wernick began practicing law in 2007. Since that time he has represented clients with Land Use/Zoning issues at Wernick & Co, PLLC in Coral Gables, Florida.
John has been actively engaged in community theater and voice training. His acting talent has resulted in several roles for commercials as well as George Saunders’ short film Escape From Spiderhead (which later was made into Top Gun 1986).
He also serves as CEO of USCJ, where he has tirelessly worked to make it more inclusive and welcoming to members of all ages and backgrounds. From advocating religious pluralism at Israel’s Western Wall to meeting with government officials to discuss Jewish political issues he serves as an ambassador of today’s Conservative Judaism.
Achievement and Honors
While leading USCJ, Wernick spearheaded several new efforts that assisted kehillot in reaching people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and interfaith families. He advocated for legislation allowing more flexible building codes and incentives to promote diversity within its boundaries.
In 1991, the Company expanded with the opening of a hire depot in Avonmouth and introduction of Rapidplan (r), an innovative modular system. Joe and Lionel Wernick assumed positions as Non-Executive Directors while their sons Julian and David also joined as board members.
Steven Wernick of Akerman was honored with the Joseph G. Goldstein Legislative Leadership award by the Builders Association of South Florida for his dedication and efforts in supporting important legislative issues that impact construction industry operations.
Wernick & Co, PLLC is founded and has been practicing law since 2007. Specializing in Land Use/Zoning issues, he was selected as a Super Lawyer.
Steve began playing guitar as a child but was exempted from choir due to being tone deaf. After taking lessons and performing gigs for over 12 months, five family members and friends died unexpectedly, prompting Steve to compose songs such as Keep On Wearing Black and Graveyard Blues as an outlet.
At his interview for the USCJ position in 2009, he demonstrated he had done his research. Since then, he has made major changes within the organization, such as cutting its 200-member board down to 75 members and traveling around to visit member synagogues.
His net worth remains unlisted; however, he has made significant strides in his chosen field of work and built an excellent career path for himself.
As director of USCJ, Wernick reinvented Conservative Judaism to meet modern life needs. His focus was administrative reform and professional training for synagogue lay leaders.
Adam Sandler used Wernick as his manager, and they worked together on some of his most successful films like Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer. Wernick enjoys an excellent reputation within the industry and among audiences.
Decision came as a complete shock, coming just days after Julie Schonfeld announced similar intentions at Rabbinical Assembly and as USCJ is gearing up to vote on a controversial resolution that would decentralize leadership of movement.