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Alumni Receive Awards for Professional Excellence

Congratulations to Leah Kitz, MAJCS/MSW 2004, on receiving the Mark Meltzer Young Professional Award from the Jewish Community Professionals of Southern California (JPSC) on September 17th. Leah recently assumed a new professional position as Associate Director of Development at New Community Jewish High School.

Congratulations to Aaron Gorodzinsky, MAJNM 2013, who will receive the JPro Network 2014 Norman Edell Award for Young Jewish Professional at the JFNA General Assembly in Washington, DC this coming November 9-11. Aaron is Director of Community Relations and Outreach at the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.

2014 SJNM Graduation

SJNM Graduates of 2014 Four students received the degree of Master of Arts in Jewish Nonprofit Management at the HUC-JIR graduation ceremonies on the Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles on May 19, 2014; and one received her degree at the HUC-JIR graduation ceremonies on the New York campus on May 8, 2014 (the first time the degree was awarded in New York).

Arielle Branitsky, MAJNM/MARE
Rachel Barton, MAJNM/MSW
Rebecca Ross, MAJNM/MAJE
Sharon Graetz, MAJNM/MAJE
Michelle Westmiller, MAJNM/MPA

In addition, five graduates of the Class of 1989 received the degree of Doctor of Jewish Nonprofit Management, honoris causa, for 25 years of service to the Jewish community:

Susan Alexman, MAJCS/MSW
Daniel Blain, MAJCS/MSW
Sherry Diamond Ginis, MAJCS/MPA
Rabbi Deborah Schloss, MAJCS/MPA
Andrea Zoll-Stein, z''l, MAJCS/MSW

Alumna Janice Kamenir-Reznik received the Sherut La’Am Award from HUC-JIR for her extraordinary achievement in co-founding Jewish World Watch and building it into a leading social justice organization.

Steven Windmueller, former director of the then School of Jewish Communal Service and former Dean of the LA campus, received the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, on the occasion of his retirement. The SJNM raised over $400,000 to recognize Steven by endowing and naming the biannual Israel Seminar in his honor.

2014 Lunch & Learn Encounter Seminar: Israel in America: “Dimensions of Relationship”

This summer’s Lunch & Learn Encounter Seminar was on the theme of “Israel in America: Dimensions of Relationship.” SJNM students had an opportunity to meet and learn from an array of professionals and academics exploring some of the dimensions of the American Jewish Community’s engagement with Israel… diplomatic, philanthropic, communal, political and economic. Most of the sessions were live-streamed and are available for viewing by clicking on WLKJLKJ.

Presenters included:
  • Gary Wexler, marketing expert and founder of Nonprofit Revolution, on “Brand Israel: An Assessment”
  • Miri Belsky, Chief Operating Officer of the Israeli-American Council, on “Israeli-Americans: An Emerging Asset”
  • Jay Sanderson, President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, presenting “A Federation’s Perspective: Changing the Rules of Engagement”
  • Taly Dunevitch, US Director of Israel Venture Network, on “Impact Investing for Social Change”
  • Prof. David Myers, Chair of the UCLA History Department, on “Understanding BDS”
  • Daniel Sokatch, Chief Executive Officer of the New Israel Fund, on “Impact Philanthropy for Social Change”

2014 Rabbi Louis Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence

The Summer Session concluded with Abraham Foxman, Executive Director of the ADL, visiting campus as the SJNM

2014 Rabbi Louis Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence. Abe conducted two three-hour seminars with the students, was interviewed by Steven Windmueller in a public Summer Salon (co-sponsored by the Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California), and gave the Culmination Address at the 45th Annual Culmination Exercises.

45th Annual SJNM Culmination Exercises

Ten students received the Certificate in Jewish Nonprofit Management at the 45th Annual SJNM Culmination Exercises:
Alexi Biener
Daniel Cohen
Ted Dreier
Michele Goldfarb-Shapiro
Sarah Magida
Rachelle Minteer
Jeremy Ragant
Mariela Socolovsky
Emily St. Lifer
Ben Zeiger
For the first time, the Culmination Exercises were live-streamed and videos are available for viewing here, including Abe Foxman’s Culmination Address.

About Our Name

School of Jewish Nonprofit Management Logo In December 2010, the HUC-JIR School of Jewish Communal Service became the HUC-JIR School of Jewish Nonprofit Management. The name was chosen after months… actually a couple of years… of discussion and deliberation. As Richard Siegel, the current director of the school, observed in a recent issue of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service: “Part of the role of a school that educates Jewish professional leaders is to define the conceptual network in which the graduates will be entering. We believe that in its broadest reaches this network is the nonprofit sector, which aligns the school with those who seek the public good and the betterment of civil society. Within that sector, we have a special responsibility, a scared task to bring the values and wisdom of Jewish history, tradition, and culture to enrich the Jewish experience and improve the societies in which we work.”

In Memory of Debbie Friedman – “Shalom Aleichem

Debbie Friedman During the 2010 Summer Session, Debbie Friedman spoke with the SJNM students as part of our series on “Presenting Culture: (In)Forming Jewish Identity.” As she was wrapping up her session, she was asked what she was working on, and she said that she had just written a new melody for “Shalom Aleichem.” We asked if she could give us a preview, and of course she obliged. One of our students, Hannah Rubin-Schlansky, fortuitously recorded it on her IPhone (see link below).

One note. She changed the last verse from “Tsayt-chem l’shalom” (Go in Peace) to “Shuv-chem l’shalom” (Return in Peace) and made a point of asking us to make that substitution when we sing her melody. She wanted to make sure that the angels knew that we wanted them to come back to us. Perhaps as we sing this, her spirit will come back to us, as well. May her memory be a blessing. Click here for the recording.