After several meetings to determine who would be hired as district manager, Community Board 8’s search committee found one candidate that stood out from the rest: Farrah Kule Rubin.
Rubin grew up in Manhattan with two sisters and has lived in Riverdale since she attended Riverdale Country School. Following high school, Rubin went to the University of Vermont in Burlington studying biological science and pre-veterinary medicine.
She described Burlington as a very different place to Manhattan, but a beautiful place with mountains, very good food, and a different mix of people. She reflected on going to Nectar’s on Church Street where the nightly band Phish played when “they were nothing” and one summer where she jumped over the rocks into Lake Champlain.
While studying at UVM she simultaneously was working for her family’s garment clothing business in New York City. During her senior year she ended up staying and working for her family. She planned on going back but ultimately decided to stay in New York and develop the business further. Despite leaving, she still visits Burlington every year.
Her interest in community work began when she got involved in the Parents Association at her children’s schools and desired to do more. She worked at The Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corp, working on merchant development and cultural events. She has worked in all the areas that CB8 addresses.
“It gave me a great experience and knowledge of all the issues in the areas, and also doing great things for the community,” Rubin said.
She went on to work as director of constituent services for former Sen. Jeffrey D. Klein and Councilman Mark Gjonaj. Rubin said Klein pushed his team to be great at constituent services and help as many people, working with state agencies to achieve positive results.
“I represented him in Riverdale for his district, so I met with all of the community organizations. We went all over,” Rubin said.
She also recently has been working for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, coordinating the programming in New York public schools for their “combat hate” program. Recently she’s been visiting and doing workshops in schools all over New York.
Rubin credits her parents as being the strongest influences of her life, both of them working their entire lives. Her mother was a designer and her father was a salesman and businessman.
“They started from nothing,” Rubin said of her parents, “and developed a very thriving business in the Garment Center. Our whole family was involved and I learned a lot from them. Definitely my work ethic and how to succeed in life, and how to talk to people. They were great salespeople.”
Rubin’s parents have passed but she knows they would have both been extremely proud and happy for her in her undertaking of the role of district manager.
Rubin believes her colleagues would describe her as hardworking, capable, and able to get along with anybody.
When asked about her vision for District 8, she said she needs to first start the job and observe everything before she starts “putting those thoughts into place.” With that said, she says she is very familiar with some of the issues she’s been part of, like the Hudson Greenway project.
She is also aware of concerns of issues of quality of life with a new school being developed at the former Church of the Visitation school site. It will be a priority of hers to make sure that everything is being done properly over there.
“I’m here to hear from everybody what the issues are and I will determine that when I get more comfortable and put some more time into the role,” Rubin said.
When it comes to working on issues such as constituent services and events, Rubin is very comfortable due to her experience.
Rubin doesn’t yet know what is going on with new members. She has heard getting a new district office is a priority, and says she will definitely be working with everybody on it as soon as she gets there.
“A lot of things in my life personally that are priorities to me are things to do with the environment, climate, things that affect our community, and having plans in place to make sure things like the Tibbetts Brook daylighting is very important to me.”
Rubin will replace Ciara Gannon as district manager on Monday, June 5.