Pictured above are the Hornstein Classes of 2016 and 2017 photographed at the Hornstein 2015 Orientation all-day event on August 23, 2015. Missing from the photo are Joel Abramson and Chen Arad. Read current student bios here>

In This Newsletter

Welcome to the
Class of 2017

Joe Reimer
on Sabbaticals, Shabbat at Camp, and Understanding the Learning Process

Erica Goldman
on Teaching Israeli Dance
at Camp

Amy Skopp Cooper
on Structuring Our Environments with Intentional Attention

Dan Lange
on Dreaming Big and Working as a Jewish Professional

Class of 2016

Recent Visitors
to Hornstein

New Books
& Publications

& Alumni News

Your Career

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New grad students at Brandeis University's Hornstein Program, Orientation 2015.

See more Orientation 2015 photos in our Facebook photo album>

Fall classes!

Proseminar in Jewish Structures with Ellen Smith, Brandeis University Hornstein grad students, Brandeis University Jewish Fundraising and Philanthropywith David Mersky, Brandeis University

Fall classes are now in full swing. Photos from Ellen Smith’s Proseminar class with first-year students and David Mersky’s Jewish Fundraising and Philanthropy class with second-year students are posted on our Facebook page. 

Nachshon Fellows
Reunion & Visit

Nachshon fellows will be coming for a reunion to Cambridge in October. Hornstein student Erica Goldman MA/MBA’16 will join them on a panel discussion on Sunday, October 11, 2015. Nachshon fellows will visit with students and faculty of the Hornstein Program on Monday, October 12. Joe Reimer will continue his exploration of how years at camp have influenced the Nachshon fellows and camp counselors more widely, their involvement in Jewish communal service, and how the Nachshon Project can function as a laboratory for our better understanding of what is needed to encourage young people to choose career paths in Jewish professional leadership.

Ramp-Up Your Career

Jewish organizations need capable professionals to take over the reins of retiring executives. The Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University is preparing the next generation of Jewish leaders to fill these positions and lead the Jewish community. 

Share our program with your colleagues and friends. Let's ensure the Jewish community moves forward with strong and qualified leaders ready to take up the challenges of the 21st century.

Learn more>

Apply now> 

Summer Fieldwork

David Korenthal
David Korenthal 
The iCenter

Joel Abramson, American Jewish Committee
Joel Abramson
American Jewish Committee

Rachel Eisen
Rachel Eisen
Mayyim Hayyim

Hornstein Program's impact in the world of Jewish communal service

Impact Newsletter | Fall 2015

Hornstein Program Graduate School Orientation 2015, Brandeis University

Welcome to the
Hornstein Program's 

  Class of 2017!

Greetings Hornstein alumni and friends! We welcome the month of Tishrei. We welcome in the new year. And we welcome a new class of students into the Hornstein fold, early-to-mid-career Jewish professionals who’ve set out to transform and improve themselves—and their worlds—through education.

Eleven new first-year students join the 14 second-year students in the program. In alphabetical order, the new students are Chen Arad, from HaMerkaz, Israel; Michal Dicker, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Mollie Feldman, from Tulsa, Oklahoma; Leo Fuhrman, from Beer Sheva, Israel; Cara Gold, from Toronto, Canada; Daniel Larson, from Edmonton, Canada; Natasha Nefedyeva, from St. Petersburg, Russia; Melanie Phillips, from Charlottesville, Virginia; Josh Satok, from Toronto, Canada; Tamar Shachaf-Schneider, from Tel Aviv, Israel,; and Rina Wagman, from Wilmington, Delaware. Tamar and Mollie are pursuing the Hornstein-NEJS option for an MA/MA; and the rest are taking the Hornstein-Heller option for an MA/MBA.

Hornstein Orientation 2015 

Orientation took place on Sunday, August 23. Co-chaired by students Rachel Eisen MA/MA’16 and Alyssa Bogdanow MA/MPP’16 with guidance from Professor Amy Sales, it was a full day of learning about one another; learning about Hornstein's history and present vision; and learning together. Ice-breakers; mini-classes on American Judaism and the history of Israel by Hornstein faculty; a ‘nuts-and-bolts’ session about schedules, travel, and more; a buddy ‘walk-and-talk’ around campus; a goal-setting session; opportunities to meet and talk with advisors and faculty; and lots of eating characterized “an energizing and inspiring” day.  

“Getting us all together for an entire day helps us know our ‘people’ before all other activities on campus occur,” said one student during our evaluation session.

“I especially enjoyed hearing faculty share their individual stories about ‘how I came to my Jewish roots’,” said another. It was one of a set of questions posed to faculty by Sara Miller MA/MBA’16.

“When you grow up in a tiny Jewish community like I did in Niagara Falls,” said Hornstein faculty Matt Boxer, “and you want to support your Jewish community, you do whatever it takes. You do because if you don’t, there’s no one else around who can or will.”

Matt’s sentiments mirror our mission at the Hornstein Program, which is to support and strengthen the Jewish community through education and service.

“We envision a vibrant global Jewish community,” says Ellen Smith, Director of the Hornstein Program. “Hornstein exists to help insure we are adequately supplied with professional, knowledgeable, inspired Jewish leaders, passionate about working in Jewish communities around the world, passionate and able to help others build meaningful Jewish lives and communities.”


Jewish education at camp

   is the theme
   of this newsletter.

    In it we profile Professor Joseph Reimer long known for his scholarly dedication to the Jewish camp system; current Hornstein student Erica Goldman MA/MBA’16, cofounder of Ma’agal and a Wexner Graduate Fellow; Hornstein alumna Amy Skopp Cooper MA’88, Associate Director of the National Ramah Commission and Director of the Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, New York; and Hornstein alumnus Daniel Lange MA/MBA’13, Associate Director of North American Camping at the Union for Reform Judaism. Each has a special love of and commitment to Jewish camp. 


Faculty Spotlight

Joe Reimer
  on Sabbaticals,
  Shabbat at Camp,
  and Understanding
  the Learning Process

A sabbatical, while largely associated with a leave of absence given to university professors for purposes of professional development, stems from the Latin sabbaticus, the Greek sabbatikos, and the Hebrew Shabbat. 

From an institutional perspective, sabbaticals are an investment in faculty, where they are afforded time to seek outside opportunities for professional enrichment, personal growth, and rejuvenation, ultimately, for further service to the institution.

Professor Joseph Reimer, Brandeis University

Professor Joseph Reimer is now back at Brandeis after a year on sabbatical. He writes:

  WHAT A GIFT a university gives a professor by granting a paid sabbatical to renew professional interests, pursue personal goals and refresh one’s perspectives. I am profoundly grateful for this opportunity last semester and want to share two of the many initiatives I engaged in during these last months.

For the past decade I have been studying Jewish residential summer camps as sites for Jewish learning. During this past year I turned my scholarly attention to Shabbat at camp. I believe that camps are the place where liberal Jewish youth are most likely to experience a full day of Shabbat celebration. Yet we have no studies of how camps design the Shabbat experience, how staff members facilitate its execution, and what campers learn from participating in these days of celebration.

Shabbat has become the cornerstone of Jewish celebration at camp. It would be helpful to understand in greater depth how these celebrations work and what impact they have on the participants.

After writing a theoretical paper that I presented at conferences in March and June this year, I spent the summer studying Shabbat at two camps, one Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and one Ramah, with a focus on how camp staff introduce Shabbat to the youngest campers. I found great similarities in how Shabbat is introduced to these young campers and fascinating variations in how Shabbat is celebrated.

While the URJ and Ramah camps’ way of introducing Shabbat is very similar, what the Shabbat celebration entails differs in striking ways that tell us a lot about the Jewish culture of these camps and what they hope their graduates will learn and hopefully carry away with them.

I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between what we learn in one context and what we carry away from that learning. Among psychologists there is a lot of attention paid to the conditions needed during the learning process for participants to comprehend the intended message or lesson and what’s needed for them to be able to transfer that message or lesson from one context to another. We know very little about how that process happens at camp. But it is a question, I think, that deserves far more scholarly and practitioner attention.

In my consulting work during my sabbatical I was engaged in a project, the Nachshon Project sponsored by the Legacy Heritage Fund Limited, which is focusing on a better understanding of this learning process.

The Nachshon Project is an initiative to interest and motivate camp counselors to consider pursuing a career in Jewish professional service. The two rabbis who run this initiative have been traveling from camp to camp to speak to the counselors about spending a tuition-free semester at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a prelude to considering graduate training for a career in the rabbinate, Jewish education, or Jewish professional life.

I traveled in April to Jerusalem to meet the first group of 21 Nachshon fellows and introduce them to graduate education that is available in these areas. I also met with some of them at camps over the summer.

I return from my sabbatical thinking about how to keep alive over the coming years the passion for learning I experienced during these sabbatical months. I look forward to more opportunities to share my learning with the Hornstein community.

For more from Joe Reimer on Jewish education, read his article "The Power of Optimal Jewish Experiences: Experiential Jewish education a decade after Chazan." 

Student Profile

Erica Goldman
  on Teaching
  Israeli Dance at Camp


“SO MUCH OF JEWISH VALUES, Israeli history, Judaism, and our rich cultural heritage can be transmitted and understood via the vehicle of Israeli dance, says current 2nd-year student, Erica Goldman MA/MBA’16, director of Ma’agal, a new initiative that helps train Jewish camp staff to “take their Israeli dance programs to the next level.

“Add to that the general joy of dance, of listening to music, the emotional experience to be had by way of the arts, and the sheer healthiness of physical activity, and it’s clear Israeli dance can have a profound and positive impact on so many aspects of a camper’s experience.”

Erica has taught Israeli dance on four continents for more than a decade. Her first experience with Israeli dance was as a child alongside her father. “I can’t remember a time we didn’t dance,” she says. Dance became a joy-filled hobby for Erica early in her life, but not something she ever considered following as a career.

“When I got a call asking if I was interested in the Dance Director position at Camp Alonim, I realized I had a chance to spread the joy of what I loved doing and turn my avocation into a vocation.” 

At that time, Camp Alonim was a part of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute and there, Erica learned Shlomo Bardin’s concept of “First we touch, then we teach,” a pedagogical approach she strongly believes in and practices. “The learning process needs to be fun but it also needs to be substantive,” she says.

As Erica gained more experience working in the Jewish community she also “became more intentional about training others.” “[Before coming to Hornstein,] I was sort of running a business on my own without knowing anything about business,” she says. “The MBA side [of the Hornstein-Heller degree] is 100 percent what I need” to manage the business side of things.

“The Jewish Leadership side has given me the language and context I need to communicate my ideas effectively.”

For Erica, the Hornstein Program “magically exists at the intersection” of all her ambitions to become more intentional in her career-path as an educator. 

Read more
  In Her Own Words:
  An Interview with Erica Goldman

Alumni Profile

Amy Skopp Cooper
  on Structuring Our
  Environments with
  Intentional Attention

Amy Skopp Cooper

IT WAS ONE SUMMER only after a week of working as a high school student at a Ramah camp that Amy Skopp Cooper MA’88 knew she wanted to be a Ramah Camp director. “I even said that to the director of the camp,  Debby Hirshman,” recalls Amy. “She asked me if I was enjoying camp so far and I said, ‘Yes, I love it. I think I want to be a Ramah director.’ Instead of rolling her eyes at me like I was some presumptuous kid, she said ‘Let’s sit down and talk about that soon.’”

 “That was just like something Bernie [Reisman] would have said. The message that was so clearly modeled, was ‘Take young adults seriously.’ Don’t poo-poo them or laugh at them. And be sure to have those promised conversations and follow up. That was so much like Bernie.”

Amy has been Director at the Ramah Day Camp in Nyack now for 19 years. She’s also Associate Director for the National Ramah Commission.

Amy’s passion is not just for camp. She’s an impassioned Jewish educator who develops and supports an array of innovative, experiential programs at camp and in the classroom.  In 2011, the Covenant Foundation honored Amy with a Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators.

“I was inspired to become a Jewish educator because I was fortunate to be a student of so many extraordinary Jewish educators and role models,” says Amy.

“My mentors taught me how to apply educational theory, the importance of an institution’s ethnography, and how to structure the environment with intention. That was a phrase Bernie used a lot and it gives me great pleasure to hear my staff and those I have mentored use it even now.”

Read more
  In Her Own Words:
  An Interview with Amy Skopp Cooper>

Alumni Profile

Dan Lange
  on Dreaming Big
  and Working as a
  Jewish Professional

Dan Lange

FEELING LIKE HE wasn't making a meaningful impact in his work, Dan Lange MA/MBA’13 left the film industry to work in the Jewish community.

My first full-time job in the Jewish community was as Youth Director at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, CA. [From the beginning] I was excited and energized by my work. I looked forward to going in each day. And most importantly – I was able to see in clear, tangible ways how I was contributing to society and making a direct impact in peoples’ lives.”

Today he is Associate Director of North American Camping at the Union for Reform Judaism. Dan’s first experiences as a seven-year-old at Jewish summer camp were “challenging,” he admits.  “But I turned a corner and found my way.” 

Camp “helps teach young people to be independent,” he says. While there are many different types of Jewish summer camps, there is a real effort in the Jewish camping field “to be inclusive and open, and to create meaningful opportunities for every child.”

“I love Jewish camping, I think it is extremely powerful and engaging, and I believe strongly in its power. While my job now is primarily connected to camping, by no means would I say that I only see myself as a ‘camp professional.’ Quite the contrary – I am a Jewish professional who does work focused on engaging and retaining young Jews through a variety of methods of which camp just happens to be one of the best.”

Dan has three items hung on the wall in his office, and “by far the most meaningful” is Bernie Reisman’s Jewish Communal Professional’s Code of Ethics. “It is so simple,” says Dan, “its focus on Jewish values reminds me daily of how I want to conduct myself in my role as a Jewish professional leader.

Read more
  In His Own Words:
  An Interview with Dan Lange>


Alumni News>

Other #HornsteinHappenings

Class of 2016
   Summer Fieldwork

Hornstein students spend a minimum of 150 hours working for a Jewish organization prior to graduation, either during the summer after the first year of the program or during their second year.

Here are a few of the cutting-edge organizations where Hornstein students are interning this summer. We value our strong network and relationships that enables and supports the accomplishment of important work in the Jewish community and beyond.

  • The Macks Center for Jewish Education, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Mayyim Hayyim, Newton, Massachusetts
  • American Jewish Committee, Washington, D.C.
  • The iCenter, Northbrook, Illinois
  • Jacobson Family Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Jewish Venture Mentoring Service, Brookline, Massachusetts
  • Jewish Leadership Pipelines Alliance, New York, New York
  • Sharsheret, Teaneck, New Jersey
  • Gann Academy, Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Boston, Massachusetts

Read more about fieldwork>

Recent Visitors to Hornstein

Or Mars visits Wexner Grad Fellows at Brandeis University

The Wexner Foundation's Or Mars, Director of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship / Davidson Scholars (second from right in above photo), came by Brandeis University on September 9. Or was here to visit three Wexner Graduate Fellows, our own Hornstein-Heller students, (from left) Josh Satok, Erica Goldman, and Alena Gomulina. Says Alena, "We were glad to have had the opportunity to familiarize Or with the ins and outs of what Hornstein is and stands for."

Read more> 

New Books
  & Publications

America’s Most Memorable
   Zionist LeadersThe Individual In History: Essays in Honor of Jehuda Reinharz

The question of what makes a successful Jewish leader has many answers, none of them simple.

Individual leaders develop within a complex context of socio-political circumstances of period and place. They are transformed by circumstances, responding and reacting in ways unique to the individual…, and subsequently transforming those same circumstances in a process of change and development that is mutually reinforcing and non-linear.

The life journey of Jehuda Reinharz, president of Brandeis University for 17 consecutive years, is a case in point. The new book “The Individual in History: Essays in Honor of Jehuda Reinharz” (eds. ChaeRan Y. Freeze, Sylvia Fuks Fried, and Eugene R. Sheppard, 2015) begins with an overview of Reinharz’s life story and continues with essays on topics he held keen interest in and to which he devoted scholarly attention.

Key themes in Reinharz’s extensive scholarship include Jewish emancipation, antisemitism, and Zionism.

In conjunction with the Tauber Institute at Brandeis University’s release of their new book, the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program shares excerpts of the ninth essay by Hornstein Professor Jonathan D. Sarna, “America’s Most Memorable Zionist Leaders.” 

In this essay, Professor Sarna focuses not only on the unique qualities and achievements of two extraordinary Zionist leaders, Louis Brandeis and Henrietta Szold, but also on why these two individuals held special appeal to the 20th-century Jewish community.

Read excerpts
from "America's Most Memorable Zionist Leaders">

See the Table of Contents 
for "Individuals in History: Essays in Honor of Jehuda Reinharz">

Buy the book>


Startling New Findings about
  Antisemitism on Antisemitism on the college campus: Perceptions and realities 2015, Brandeis University
  College Campuses
  in North America

"Nearly three-quarters of respondents [to our survey] report having been exposed at one time during the past year to at least one of six antisemitic statements," say Professor Len Saxe and his colleagues at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies following the release of their new report on the state of antisemitism on college campuses in North America. The study, conducted in spring 2015, draws on a survey of U.S. and Canadian college students and young adults who applied to Taglit-Birthright Israel. 

In late October, Professor Saxe will be leading an online panel discussion with Hornstein alumni on the topic of antisemitism on college campuses. Stay tuned for more details and how you can listen in and participate.

This issue of Impact was conceptualized and produced by 
Claire Pavlik Purgus, program manager at the Hornstein Program, who also conducted the interviews. Articles not otherwise signed were written by Claire.

Send questions or comments about the contents of this newsletter to hornstein@brandeis.edu. 

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