Faculty

The Mandel Institute for Nonprofit Leadership’s core faculty, comprised of outstanding practitioners, scholars and educators, will accompany the Fellows throughout the entire program. In Israel, in addition to several members of the core faculty, Fellows will study with faculty of the Mandel Foundation-Israel.

Alan Gill and Sarah Bunin Benor.
Devora Steinmetz and Daniel Pekarsky.

Alan Gill

Alan Gill is the Executive Vice President Emeritus of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian relief organization. A 25-year JDC veteran, culminating as CEO and executive vice president from 2013-2017, he played a leadership role in launching many of JDC’s landmark programs, including Ashalim, a private/nonprofit partnership to address the needs of Israel’s children at risk, and PACT—Parents and Children Together, a program for the education and cultural integration of Ethiopian-Israeli preschool children and their parents.  He also served as a special advisor to the JDC’s Former Soviet Union operations, and was a member of the organization’s emergency relief team during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. In 2015, he oversaw the rescue of 130 Jews from the war zone in eastern Ukraine. During his tenure as JDC Executive Director of International Relations, he helped increase philanthropic revenue tenfold, bringing the organization’s annual budget to $350 million.  Mr. Gill was previously the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Columbus, Ohio. He also founded The Ohio State University’s graduate training program for Jewish Communal Service and served as adjunct professor at the University’s College of Social Work. Mr. Gill holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, a master’s degree in social work from Ohio State and is an alumnus of the Gestalt Institute of Central Ohio post graduate training program.

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Sarah Bunin Benor

Sarah Bunin Benor is Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, where she teaches masters students in the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management and undergraduates at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism (Rutgers University Press, 2012) and many articles about Jewish languages and culture. Professor Benor has received several fellowships and prizes, including the Dorot Fellowship in Israel, the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, and the Sami Rohr Choice Award for Jewish Literature. She is founding co-editor of the Journal of Jewish Languages and creator of the Jewish Language Research Website and the Jewish English Lexicon. Her current project examines Hebrew use at North American Jewish summer camps. Professor Benor received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in Linguistics in 2004.

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David Stolow

David Stolow is the Faculty Director of the Public and Nonprofit MBA Program at Boston University Questrom School of Business. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship, oversees the Dean’s Fellowship on Social Impact, and is co-lead instructor for the Certificate Program in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Professor Stolow previously served 10 years as Director of Strategic Development at Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit network of extended-day and after-school programs. Prior to joining Citizen Schools, Professor Stolow worked as the Chief Financial Officer for Boston Community Capital, a leading Community Development Financial Institution. He has served in leadership positions for other highly esteemed nonprofits in the Boston area and he currently serves on the boards of numerous organizations. Professor Stolow graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and holds a Master’s Degree in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management.

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Mara Benjamin

Mara Benjamin is Irene Kaplan Leiwant Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Mt. Holyoke College. She is the author of Rosenzweig’s Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and is a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her forthcoming book, The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought (Indiana University Press, 2018). She lives with her wife and two children in Northampton, MA.

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Asher Lopatin

Asher Lopatin is President of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, an Orthodox rabbinical school that teaches an inclusive, open and welcoming Torah. Previously, he was the spiritual leader of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, a modern Orthodox synagogue in Chicago, for 18 years. He received his rabbinic ordination from Rav Ahron Soloveichik and Yeshivas Brisk in Chicago, and from Yeshiva University, as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. A Rhodes Scholar with a M.Phil. in Medieval Arabic Thought from Oxford University, Rabbi Lopatin is the author of numerous scholarly and popular articles.

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Dan Judson

Dan Judson is Associate Dean for Professional Development at the Hebrew College Rabbinical School where he is also a lecturer in Jewish history. He is author of Pennies for Heaven: The History of American Synagogues and Money (Brandeis University Press, 2017) and several previous books. He previously served as a member of the national faculty of the Union for Reform Judaism where he consulted to hundreds of synagogues across the country on financial issues. His research on new models of synagogue financing has been featured in The New York TimesThe Boston GlobeHaaretz, and The New York Jewish Week.  Dr. Judson received his doctorate in Jewish history from Brandeis University.

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Devora Steinmetz

Devora Steinmetz serves on the leadership team for special programs at Drisha Institute in the United States and Israel. Previously, she helped develop and taught in the Mandel Fellows and the Mandel Visionary Leadership programs, both of them the result of a collaboration between the Mandel Foundation and Hebrew Union College. Dr. Steinmetz has taught Talmud and Rabbinics at Drisha, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Yeshivat Hadar, and Havruta: a Beit Midrash at Hebrew University. Dr. Steinmetz is the founder of Beit Rabban, a Jewish day school profiled in Daniel Pekarsky’s Vision at Work: The Theory and Practice of Beit Rabban. She is the author of scholarly articles on Talmud, Midrash, and Bible as well as of two books, From Father to Son: Kinship, Conflict, and Continuity in Genesis and Punishment and Freedom: The Rabbinic Construction of Criminal Law. Dr. Steinmetz also works at Gould Farm, a therapeutic community for individuals in recovery from mental illness.

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Daniel Pekarsky

Daniel Pekarsky is a longtime consultant to the Mandel Foundation. He is a philosopher of education whose published work addresses questions in areas that relate to educational ethics, moral growth, John Dewey’s educational theory and Jewish education.  His book Vision at Work: The Theory and Practice of Beit Rabban (2006) brings these interests together in the course of examining the interplay between core purposes, practice, and evaluation in a thought-provoking example of a vision-guided Jewish day school. While pursuing his undergraduate and graduate studies, Dan worked in various capacities in Jewish education – first as a teacher, then as a congregational school principal, and after that as an Outreach Coordinator for the Hillel Foundation at the University of Michigan. Much later, he served as a consultant to Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. After earning a PhD in Education at Harvard University in 1976, Dan served as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and in the Mosse-Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies. In 2011, he transitioned into Emeritus status at the UW so that he could become more fully engaged with the work of the Mandel Foundation, with which he had long been involved.

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Jehuda Reinharz

Jehuda Reinharz is President of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. He previously served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (1991-1994) and President (1994-2011) of Brandeis University. During his nearly 17 years as president, he transformed the university through an unprecedented campus-wide expansion, creating 36 endowed faculty and staff positions, 29 new or renovated campus buildings, and 17 new research centers and institutes. During his presidency, the university raised $1.2 billion dollars and its endowment more than quadrupled.

Professor Reinharz is the author or co-author of more than one hundred articles and thirty-one books in various languages. His two-volume biography of Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel, has won many prizes in Israel and the United States—Hebrew and English editions of the third volume are forthcoming in 2017. His latest co-authored books (with Professor Yaacov Shavit) are Glorious, Accursed Europe (published in 2010), which analyzes the relationship of Jews to Europe from the 18th century to the present, The Scientific God, (published in Hebrew in 2011) which deals with popular science in Eastern Europe in the second half of the 19th century, The Road to September 1939 (published in Hebrew; forthcoming in English in 2017) which analyzes world Jewry on the cusp of disaster, and The Donkey: A Cultural History (published in Hebrew in 2014). His latest book, Inside the Antisemitic Mind: The Language of Jew-Hatred in Contemporary Germany, co-authored with Monika Schwarz-Friesel, shows how language plays a crucial role in activating antisemitism and analyzes “anti-Israelism” as the dominant form of contemporary hatred of Jews.

Professor Reinharz is the recipient of seven honorary doctorates. In 1992, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In 1995, Professor Reinharz was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1999 he was elected a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Theodore Sasson

Theodore Sasson is Director of Programs of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation and Director of the Mandel Institute for Nonprofit Leadership. He has written widely in the fields of diaspora studies, heritage tourism, Israeli politics, American Jewish opinion, American Jewish demography and criminology. He is author of The New American Zionism (New York University Press, 2014), several previous books and dozens of scholarly articles and research monographs. His essays have appeared in The Forward, Tablet Magazine, The Jewish Week, The Jerusalem Post, Sh’ma Magazine and other periodicals. He is a professor (on-leave) at Middlebury College and a senior research scientist (on-leave) at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. Professor Sasson received his doctorate in sociology from Boston College.

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“As the world changes, our programs will change, but the need for enlightened, informed leadership will never go away.”

– Morton L. Mandel, Chairman and CEO, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation –