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We're pleased to send you our latest electronic newsletter and the last with our founding name!
Stay tuned for our next newsletter with a new format and new name!
Fall/Winter 2010 – Staav 5771
SJNM Alumni Association Leadership
From Esther Cohen, Chair

We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Hanukkah- filled with family, love and light. Within the SJNM Alumni Association, we have very much been feeling the spirit of rededication, as we continue to work hard to re-energize our organization. I am so excited to be able to share with all of you the strides that we are making, and I invite you to join us in our efforts!

We have three committees that are now up and running: Recruitment, Development and Continuing Education/ Professional Development. I want to take this opportunity to not only introduce you to our colleagues who have stepped up to chair these groups, but also to publicly thank them all. The work of a Jewish professional is demanding and never-ending, but these dedicated alumni have made a conscious decision to donate their time to both the school, and us, the alumni of this incredible program, and we appreciate their insights and ideas and their hard work and time!


From the Dean: Dr. Josh Holo
There are at least two main thrusts to the Hanukkah story. On the one hand, Hanukkah is about freedom-fighting and the fulfillment of our national-religious destiny in the face of oppression. On the other hand, Hanukkah focuses on the centrality of the Temple in Jewish life.

Even in the absence of the Temple and in Diaspora, Jewish life continued to evolve in relation to institutions: synagogues, mutual aid societies, Jewish government and the like. As such, Hanukkah still holds great power, as a commemoration of the rededication of holy institutions. How fitting, therefore, that we should rededicate the School of Jewish Communal Service as the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management, during Hanukkah, 5770!


Letter from the Director: Richard A. Siegel
Dear Friends,

What a difference a year makes!

Last year at this time, we were fighting for the survival of the School of Jewish Communal Service. Now, we are delighted to announce that the HUC-JIR School of Jewish Communal Service is now the HUC-JIR School of Jewish Nonprofit Management!

For more than 40 years, we were the SJCS. Why change the name now? We certainly still believe in the calling to serve the Jewish people. Indeed, that is the quintessential quality we look for in our students.

However, the nonprofit world in general, and the Jewish community in particular, has changed radically over these past 40 years. It is essential that in addition to passion, professionals have the knowledge, skills and sophistication to lead the organizationally dynamic, financially complex, and constantly evolving network of Jewish institutions, whether long established or newly incubated. We need professionals who can enliven an organization's mission, cultivate new resources, develop strategic partnerships, and motivate constituencies. This is Jewish nonprofit management.


SJNM Working Groups are Working Hard!
Over the past few months, we've been putting together different alumni groups so that we could best serve you, our alumni, and also work to maintain connections between alumni and the school.

SJNM alumni leaders and staff, along with HUC-JIR's National Office for Recruitment and Admissions, are in the process of developing an Alumni Applicant Mentoring Program, which will match potential applicants with an alumni mentor based on academic and professional interests, as well as other relevant factors like geography or undergraduate university, for instance. The goal of this program is to allow potential students a more personal experience as they navigate the application process, as well as ensuring that the School will have the best applications to select from.

Are you interested in serving as a mentor if an opportunity arises? Do you know college students or recent grads who are thinking about a career as a Jewish professional and who might be a great fit for the SJNM? Let us know, or think about getting involved as a mentor and/or a committee member!

Annual Campaign
With the outpouring of support last year during our first Alumni campaign, we were able to raise a lot of money, most of which is going to support student scholarships (read more in Richard Siegel's column). However, we still have a lot of hard work to do, and the lessons we learned during last year's campaign has put us in the position to develop a more strategic annual campaign. The committee is in the process of evaluating the data from last year to identify giving trends and create a plan for the year end and our larger campaign cycle.

Are you interested in helping to strategize or in reaching out to your fellow alumni? Let us know that you want to be a part of the SJNM Annual Alumni Campaign!

OR, show your support this year by making your tax-deductible contribution online at our new website: and click "Donate Now"

Alumni Continuing/Professional Education
We are still forming our continuing education committee, but we have begun to brainstorm ways to reach many alumni, among whom there are many diverse interests, through different efforts: conference calls, conferences and seminars, webinars, enhancing our newsletter, and other means as well. We hope to make some exciting announcements early in 2011! Stay tuned!

If you want more information, if you have any questions, or if you want to get involved in ANY way, email and let Jessica know!

Student Profile: LuAnne Tyzzer, Second Year MAJNM/MAJE Candidate
My life-long axiom is that the best opportunities are those we create for ourselves. We can't just sit around and wait for things to happen. We have to act. We have to make them happen. Thanks to my joint Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service studies at HUC, I see this principle is central to the work we do in the Jewish community. When it comes to Jewish education and Jewish nonprofit management, innovation, empowerment, and outreach are essential to meet the various needs of our learners, colleagues, and constituents.


Use the HUC-JIR Online Alumni Directory
Looking for an old friend or classmate? Did you meet an alum at a conference and remember where they work but can't put the name with the face? You can find any HUC alum in the online directory! Simply go to The directory is password-protected. For the username and password, contact Jessica at

Once there, please also make sure that your own information is correct. Have you moved, changed jobs, married, or had children? Your entry might be outdated. Updates you send to the SJCS Alumni Association are shared with the national directory maintainers, but it is a separate database.

The Berman Jewish Policy Archives
We are excited that the Berman Jewish Policy Archive ( have made HUC-JIR masters theses/projects available online! As of now, we don't have the resources to scan all of the bound versions, so we're only accepting electronic versions (Word or PDF). If you have your thesis/project available in electronic format, please send it to Prof. Sarah Benor at

HUC-JIR Alumni E-Learning
You can explore Online Alumni resources and Learning Opportunities at the HUC-JIR E-Learning site:

You can also write for the alumni e-learning blog!
The Department of E-Learning has asked for volunteers out in the field who would be interested in writing for the alumni blog. If you are working on an interesting project, or feel that you have an interesting point of view to share, we'd love to hear from you!

SJCS Alumni Assoc. Executive Committee
Esther Cohen, Chair
Andi Milens, Vice Chair, HUC-JIR Alumni Council Rep.
Alan Ronkin, HUC-JIR Alumni Council Rep.
Shoshana Hirsh, Vice Chair, HUC-JIR Alumni Council
Lori Lander Goodman, Past Chair
Joy Wasserman, National Director of Alumni Affairs
Richard Siegel, ex-officio
Lori Klein, ex-officio
Jessica Ingram, Coordinator of Alumni Affairs
Milestones and Mazal Tov!

Aaron Pratt (MAJCS/MPA 2007) recently became engaged to his partner Jean-Luc Le Provost after proposing during their recent trip to Israel. Aaron also recently purchased a house in downtown Phoenix!

Marriages and Anniversaries
Marla Abraham (MAJCS/MSW 1985) and her husband Michael will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this coming January 4th.

Matthew Kahn (MAJCS/MAJE 2009) married Samantha Orshan (MAJCS and Rabbinic Ordination expected May 2011) on October 24, in Miami, Florida. The couple met during the HUC Year in Israel and were surrounded by many excited HUC friends as they exchanged their vows.

Ellie Klein (MAJCS/MSW 2002) and her husband Jeff Goldman had twins this past summer. Samuel Albert and Adelaide Frances Goldman were born June 28, 2010.

Michelle Shahon (MAJCS 1998) gave birth to a son, Ethan Gabriel on May 22, 2010.

George Goodwin (MAJCS/MPA 1985) suffered the loss of his father, Eugene S. Goodwin, who passed away in October. George, his brother and sister helped establish the School's Eugene & Madeline Goodwin, Alumni, and Friends Award in honor of their parents. His mother, now 85, served on the School's Advisory Committee for about 35 years. George has proudly passed on the spirit of Jewish Communal Service to his daughter, Martha (Molly) Goodwin, a former Hillel president at Trinity College in Hartford, who now enjoys working in the women's division of UJA-Federation in New York City.

Beverly Pottern Shapiro (CJCS 1977) suffered the loss of her beloved husband, Mel Shapiro, who died November 7 of natural causes. Beverly shared this touching story of her husband's love and support: "In 1976, after I was accepted to the SJCS program, Mel was scheduled for triple bypass heart surgery. I decided to change my plans but he threatened not to have the surgery if I did not go. His doctors agreed and I went to HUC, Los Angeles. Following the successful surgery, his doctors advised he could visit me in LA provided he walked around the airplane multiple times. Kiddingly, he told everyone he walked all the way to LA. He was my staunch supporter in everything I undertook and that support will continue for me forever."

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your families at this time. May you be comforted among the mourners of Zion, and may the memories of your loved ones be a blessing.

Employment Updates
Alan S. Engel (CJCS 1972) retired from his position as Executive Director of the Louisville Kentucky Federation, effective October 31. He will be remaining in Louisville and enjoying this next chapter of his life.

Debbi Goodman-Smith (CJCS 1982) will be retiring from Jewish Family and Children's Services in San Francisco in January 2011 after 33 year working there. Her plans for retirement include reading the paper every morning while drinking coffee and not rushing, taking morning walks every day with her dog and swimming. But, like every good Jewish Communal Professional, Debbi added, "That's good for the first 2-3 months. Then, I will see what else I want to do!"

Courtney Jacobson (MAJCS/MSW 2010) has been promoted from Assistant Camp Director to Camp Director of JCC Camp Tzofim in Northern California. She is busy at work, but really fulfilled in what she is doing, and is enjoying all that she learns about Jewish camping! Gene Kaufman (CJCS 1979) retired as Executive Director of Sinai Memorial Chapel, the Jewish Funeral Home of the San Francisco Bay Area after 23 years of service. Previously, he was an Associate Campaign and Planning Director of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties for 11 years. He is now enjoying spending much of his time with his 3 grandchildren and as a student at the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco.

Professional Accomplishments
Eddie Bruckner received the 2010 AJCOP Steve FRD Award. With the award, Eddie was able to attend a three-day Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Planned Giving Seminar in Chicago this past September. Eddie is principal gifts officer at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) of Greater Boston.

Established by colleague Steven Rose, the Steve FRD Award is granted on annual basis to a member in good standing of AJCOP, to provide a grant towards the costs for attending a professional enrichment conference or seminar under Jewish or non-Jewish auspices that will strengthen the professional's skills in the area of financial resource development.

David Harris (MAJCS/MPA 2009) had his thesis featured by the Berman Jewish Policy Archive as suggested reading for the 2010 JFNA General Assembly.

Lisa Langer (MAJCS/MAJE 1994) was honored to serve as the RHSOE Alumna in Residence at HUC in LA November 7-9, 2010. She had the privilege of meeting with the talented group of Joint Master's students to learn about their experiences, challenges, successes and hopes as well as to share a bit about her own experiences as a student and a professional in the field. She is eager for all of us to meet and welcome these people as our colleagues!

Devorah Servi (MAJCS/MSW 2001) presented on "Conquering Word Problems" at the October 2010 DeLeT/PARDES Educators' Conference in Maryland.

Anna Schwarz Shabtay (MAJCS/MPA 2009) won the 2010 AJCOP Norman Edell Fellowship Award. Anna serves as the Campaign Communications Manager at the Jewish Federation of Greater Long Beach and West Orange County. She oversees marketing and communications along with managing the Annual Campaign. She also works on young adult outreach and engagement and coordinates the New Leaders Forum, a yearlong leadership development program for rising community leaders.

The Edell Scholarship was established in loving memory of Norman Edell, in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to the Jewish Communal Service profession in 2000 by his wife, Laura, and his sons Mark and David. The Edell Award sends one AJCOP young professional to experience the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America for the first time. The Scholarship hopes to give younger professionals a clearer sense of the national system, unique opportunities for learning practice and most importantly, the motivation to continue their careers in Jewish community work.

Lou Solomon (CJCS 1972) received the AJCOP Mandelkorn Distinguished Service Award for 2010 from Alan Engel, AJCOP President and fellow alum. The award was presented at the Sunday evening, November 7th Awards Reception at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in New Orleans, LA. Lou serves as Foundation Director at the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.

The Mandelkorn Distinguished Service Award is presented to a full-time Jewish community organization professional who has been in the field for more than 10 years.

Mira Sussman (MAJCS/MSW 2004) resettlement program director at Jewish Family Services of Ann Arbor, was one of three outstanding community leaders who was honored this fall in Chicago by Ameinu (Hebrew for "Our People").

Javier Simonovich (MAJCS/MSW 1985) was honored during ordination and the academic convocation at HUC in Jerusalem in October, and was awarded his honorary doctorate.

Miriam Prum Hess (MAJCS/MSW 1978) is being honored for her professional leadership by the BJE in Los Angeles at their annual Gala in January. Miriam serves as Director of the BJE's Day School Operational Services and VP of the Jewish Federation, Bureau of Jewish Education and The Jewish Federation.

Other Simchas
Marcia (Marty) Cohn Spiegel (MAJCS 1979) had a second bat mitzvah on the occasion of her 83rd birthday. She honored the groups that have sustained her over the past years with aliyot: Her children, grandchildren and a few close friends read or chanted Hebrew, or English. Many HUC friends and faculty were there to share the simcha. The Spiegel Seminar on Family Values continues to open students to areas of problems and dysfunctions in the Jewish community and Madelyn Katz and Ellen Goldsmith are important participants in the planning committee.

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