Amy L. Sales, PhD
Associate Director, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies
Director, Fisher-Bernstein Institute
Professor Amy L. Sales is the associate director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University, the director of the Fisher-Bernstein Institute for Jewish Philanthropy and Leadership, and Associate Professor in Hornstein: The Jewish Professional Leadership Program. Trained as a social psychologist, she conducts research on Jewish institutions and their role in creating Jewish life and community.
Her most recent studies have centered on the fundraising profession, Jewish education, synagogues, Jewish summer camps, and Jewish life on college campuses. This past year, she was the Principal Investigator on a project for the Jim Joseph Foundation that mapped Jewish education in the United States and created a database of national programs and organizations involved in educating Jewish children and youth. She was also the lead investigator on Developing the Developers, a study analyzing the shortage of qualified fundraisers in the Jewish community. In an effort to understand how synagogues evolve, she has conducted evaluation research for Synagogue 2000 and for The RE-IMAGINE Project (an effort to bring innovation to congregational schools) and has led community-based studies of older adults in the synagogue, of Jewish family education, and of the attitudes and values of synagogue members. In addition to her research activities, she has provided training, consultation, and technical assistance on long-term planning, evaluation research, and leadership development in Jewish communal agencies, organizations, and federations. She holds her Ph.D. in social psychology from Boston University.
She is the co-author of How Goodly Are Thy Tents: Summer Camps as Jewish Socializing Experiences, the co-editor of Church and Synagogue Affiliation: Theory, Research and Practice, and the author of numerous articles and reports related to the American Jewish community. Her most recent article is Future of the Denominations: Analysis and Possiblities in CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly (spring 2011).
Amy Sales recently participated in an in-person consultation with JESNA regarding measures of success for experiential Jewish education programs for teens. View video.