Photo of Hornstein's Class of 2016, from left: Zach Bronstein, Alyssa Bogdanow, Eric Maurer, Naomi Rosenfeld, Sara Miller, Rachel Eisen, Teri McGuire, Alena Gomulina, David Korenthal, Joel Abramson, Ariel Hausman.  

In This Newsletter

Jewish Texts
Jewish Leadership

Louis Brandeis
 & Jewish Leadership

Our Class by
Naomi Rosenfeld


Awards & Honors




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Class of 2016 Graduation Ceremony Photo Album on Facebook
Class of 2016 graduation FB photo album

Welcome New
Class of 2018!

Deryn Harbin MA/MBA
Academic Institution: Florida State University

Gabrielle Hersch BA/MA
Academic Institution: Brandeis University

Dalia Krusner MA/MBA
Academic Institution: University of Toronto

Rose Levenson MA/MBA
Academic Institution: Mount Holyoke College

Jacob Markey MA/MPP
Academic Institution: University of Wisconsin, Madison

Kayla Reisman MA/MBA
Academic Institution: Dickinson College

Mikhael Reuven MA/MA
Academic Institution: University of Cambridge,
Queens' College

Jenni Richton MA/MBA
Academic Institution: Yeshiva University

Herschel Singer MA/MBA
Academic Institution: Yeshiva University

Joanna Spyra MA/MA
Academic Institution: Jagiellonian University,Poland

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>

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

Impact Newsletter | July 2016

Hornstein Class of 2016

Mazel Tov to Hornstein's Class of 2016!

The following are excerpts from speeches presented at Hornstein's commencement ceremony on May 22, 2016. 

Ellen Smith

From the Director, Ellen Smith:

Jewish Texts
Jewish Leadership

Two years ago, when we gathered the Hornstein Class of 2016 together, we opened with the question, “What is, and what will be, Jewish about the leadership roles we will assume?”

This class in particular has continued to focus on this question, in class, in cohort conversations, with faculty over cups of coffee and tea, and in a variety of workplaces. We know that as Jews we are not alone in seeking social justice, in striving to build lives and communities rooted in deep mutual caring, values, and personal meaning. So what helps frame these desires, this context for Jewish leadership and living?

One answer this class would give you is “Jewish texts.” And “texts” to them is a large, open word—reflective of their open minds and hearts. 

Our Jewish texts belong to all of us and unite us as a people. Here’s how we’ve come to understand them...

Jonathan D. Sarna

From the Chair, Jonathan D. Sarna:

Louis Brandeis:
Lessons for
Jewish Leaders

This year, Brandeis University has been marking the centennial of Louis Brandeis’ appointment to the United States Supreme Court. The nomination electrified the American Jewish community, for it marked the first time that a Jew had ever been nominated to a position of such authority and prestige. “God be blest!” a Jewish onlooker quoted by the New-York Tribune responded when he learned the news. “In Russia we dreamed of it. Here it is a fact.”

Today, when three Jews sit on the U.S. Supreme Court (and a fourth has been nominated), and when everyone running for the presidency of the United States is either Jewish or has a Jewish son-in-law, it is hard to remember back to those days when the appointment of a Jew to a major position of trust in the United States made headlines. The centennial of Louis Brandeis’ appointment serves as a timely reminder of how far Jews have come in this country over the past hundred years…

Hornstein Class of 2016, Brandeis University

From Naomi Rosenfeld MA/MBA'16:

Our Class

In April, our class sat around our respective Passover seder tables and sang one of my favorite Jewish tunes, "Echad Me Yodea?" ("Who Knows One?"), a traditional cumulative tune believed to have originated with German Jewry in the 15th century. You might be wondering why this song is my favorite? After all, it can appear a little juvenile at first. But "Echad Me Yodea" represents more than just a fun children’s song. "Echad Me Yodea" is a succinct way of helping the Jewish people remember important historical highlights and lessons, especially when transitioning from one stage of existence, slavery, to another, freedom.

So, today, on the cusp of what is, in some ways, our own transition from slavery into freedom, I ask….

Hornstein Class of 2016 graduation ceremony, Brandeis University

Ceremony Video | Photos


Hornstein alumni recall transitions in their
careers and lives and how community, 
friends, and family have supported 
them along the way.

Eli Cohn

On Pushing the Limits of Understanding
Through Work, Travel, and Art

Eli Cohn

It's been a year since Eli Cohn MA/MA’15 took up the role of Project Director in the South Peninsula region for Jewish Teen Foundations, a program of the Jewish Federation of San Francisco. Going into a new location and new job, Eli was worried but willing to challenge himself and his worldview, even if that meant moving out of his comfort zone.

“There was certainly concern on various fronts, including the basic anxiety of finding a job following graduation. I had concerns about moving all the way across the country from Boston to San Francisco to a place where I didn’t know many people,” says Eli. “And I questioned whether some aspects of the job itself, whether philanthropy and grant-making are really the best ways to engage curious youth, and if that’s what I wanted to be doing.”

A year into the work, Eli is convinced…. CONTINUE READING>

Elisheva Massel

On Aligning Personal Values
with Organizational Mission

Elisheva Massel

If you know Elisheva Massel MA/MBA'14 you know she's a "glass half-full" type of person who is exceptionally determined and capable. So when she admits to being uncertain about anything, it comes as a surprise.

"I try to [be positive] and I have good days and bad days!" she says, laughing. "That's the story I like to tell."

The narrative she’s constructing is like the white painted line on the side of the road, keeping her on the path and going in the direction she’s determined to go. Her Jewish upbringing, family, and community illuminate her way. 

“Wherever I have traveled or lived, I sought out the Jewish community in one way or another. For me, the Jewish community has offered a sense of belonging in times and places where differences can be both exhilarating and overwhelming,” says Elisheva, who, after living on five continents, is no stranger to moving from place to place... CONTINUE READING>

Elan Burman

On the Pull of Two Jewish Organizations
& Seemingly Inconsequential Tasks

Elan BurmanLike some students who come to the Hornstein Program, Elan Burman MA’06 had to get to the end of his undergrad education before he realized that working as a Jewish professional leader aligned with his Jewish identity and perspectives.

“I tell people that Jewish communal work is the family business, one that growing up I vowed I would never enter,” says Elan, now the Capital Campaign Director at Maryland Hillel where he’s also worked on a previous occasion. Prior to this, Elan was at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and then the United Jewish Campaign (UJC) in Cape Town, South Africa, another organization where he worked on two different occasions.

Not everyone returns to places of previous employment but Elan has, twice. “These two enterprises—Maryland Hillel and UJC—and the magnetism of each were, and continue to be, a very compelling pull,” he says. Furthermore… CONTINUE READING>

Awards & Honors

Student Awards & Honors

Hornstein students are a distinguished
group of young professionals who
have demonstrated a capacity for
leadership and a passion for the
Jewish community. We congratulate
all our students for their outstanding
accomplishments and achievements.

Class of 2016

Class of 2017

Joel Abramson
iCenter Fellowship
Goldman Fellowship
Mollie Feldman
iCenter Fellowship
Fein Shain Pinanski
Alyssa Bogdanow
Bernard and Rena J. Olshansky Prize
in Jewish Communal Service
Cara Gold
Fein Shain Pinanski
Rachel Eisen
Hadassah Brandeis Institute
Student Prize 2015
Daniel Larson
JFNA FEREP Graduate Scholar
Erica Goldman
Wexner Fellowship & Davidson Scholar
Natalia Nefedyeva
Fein Shain Pinanski
Alena Gomulina
Wexner Fellowship & Davidson Scholar
Joshua Satok
iCenter Fellowship
Wexner Fellowship & Davidson Scholar
David Korenthal
iCenter Fellowship
Taglit Fellowship
Tamar Shachaf-Schneider
iCenter Fellowship
Eric Maurer
iCenter Fellowship
Rina Wagman
iCenter Fellowship
Bernard and Rena J. Olshansky Prize
in Jewish Communal Service 
Teri McGuire
iCenter Fellowship
Sara Miller
iCenter Fellowship
Taglit Fellowship
Naomi Rosenfeld
iCenter Fellowship
JFNA FEREP Graduate Scholarship

Faculty Awards, Honors & Recent Publications

We are proud of our faculty for these
much deserved honors. Your scholarship
and teaching nourishes our need
to understand historical and
contemporary issues.

Prof. Rachel Fish, Hornstein faculty and Associate Director 
Schusterman Center for Israel Studies

Selected as a Schusterman Fellow in 2016, a program of the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation for individuals who are committed to growing their capacity to exercise leadership in the Jewish sector.

Prof. Jonathan D. Sarna, Hornstein Chair, was extensively honored in 2016.

  • Earlier this year he was appointed University Professor at Brandeis University, one of the university’s greatest distinctions.
  • He was awarded the Lee Max Friedman Award Medal for distinguished service in the field of American Jewish history, American Jewish Historical Society, 2016.
    Jonathan D. Sarna is presented with the Lee Max Friedman Award Medal
  • He was listed in the Algemeiner Top 100 Award for top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life in 2015. 

Lincoln and the Jews A History“Lincoln & The Jews: A History,” Prof. Sarna’s recent book with Benjamin Shapell, received the following awards:

  • Winner, The Civil War Roundtable's Barondess/Lincoln Award  
  • Winner, The Lincoln Group of New York's  2015 Award of Achievement
  • Finalist, National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Studies, 2016 
  • Finalist, 2016 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize 

New Publications

Two New Books by David A. Mersky 

Successful Synagogue Fundraising“Successful Synagogue Fundraising Today: Overcoming the Fear of Asking for Money.” David A. Mersky and Abigail Harmon. Jewish Lights, April 21, 2016. 

How You Can Engage New Board Members“How You Can Engage New Board Members: Strengthening Your Nonprofit Organization.” David A. Mersky, December 8, 2015.

Articles by Jonathan D. Sarna

  • “Subversive Jews and American Culture: Notes on the Leonard Milberg Collection of Early American Judaica.” In "By Dawn’s Early Light: Jewish Contributions to American Culture from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War," ed. Adam Mendelsohn: 189-204. Princeton: Princeton University Library, 2016. Reprinted, without accompanying notes, in Tablet. 
  • “Avraham Avinu Ve’am Ha’ivrim Be-Artso’ [English title: “Abraham Lincoln and his Attitude Toward the Jews”], Et-Mol #244, February 2016: 7-9 [in Hebrew]. 
  • “100 Years Later, Has Brandeis’s Supreme Court Nomination Changed Everything – Or Nothing?” In Forward, January 29, 2016: 21. 

New Socio-Demographic Studies

All Together Separate"All Together Separate: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion on the Brandeis campus." Leonard Saxe, Fern Chertok, Graham Wright, Michelle Shain, Shahar Hecht, Annette Koren, Theodore Sasson. Waltham, Mass.: Steinhardt Social Research Institute, Brandeis University. May 2016. 

Nashville and Middle TN Demographic study“The 2015 Nashville and Middle Tennessee Jewish Community Study.” Matthew Boxer, Janet Krasner Aronson, Matthew A. Brookner, and Ashley Perry. Waltham, Mass.: Steinhardt Social Research Institute, Brandeis University. May 2016.


“The 2015 Greater Boston Jewish Community Study.” Janet Krasner Aronson, Matthew Boxer, and Leonard Saxe. Waltham, Mass.: Steinhardt Social Research Institute, Brandeis University. Preliminary report expected this summer. 

“Judaism as a Contact Sport: The Effects of Jewish Community Size on Jewish Identity.” Matthew Boxer. Springer. Expected publication 2017.


Mazel tov for the outstanding achievements of 
our alumni. Our communities are strengthened
by your care and dedicated work.

Alumni Awards & Honors

Phillip Brodsky MA/MBA’10
Executive Director, The David Project

Selected as a Schusterman Fellow in 2016, a program of the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation for individuals who are committed to growing their capacity to exercise leadership in the Jewish sector.

Dan Lange MA/MBA’13
Associate Director of North American Camping,
Union for Reform Judaism

Selected as a member of the inaugural cohort of Ruskay Fellows, a program developed by the Wiener Center for Leadership and Learning at UJA Federation of New York.

Randy E. Spiegel MA’86
Executive Director, Beth Tzedec Congregation

Awarded two new honors: Fellow in Synagogue Administration, awarded to processionals who have demonstrated excellence in practice; and Amin Tzibur, awarded for significant involvement and demonstrated proficiency in professional practice and Judaic knowledge and practice as part of the klei kodesh team. (Randy is the ninth executive director and the first Canadian to win this recognition!)

Randy also earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive credential from CFRE International.

More Alumni News

Zohar Raviv, Lisa Tabak, and Jonathan Boiskin -- Hornstein alumni

At the end of March, Zohar Raviv MA'00, International Director of Education for Taglit Birthright Israel (right above), Lisa Tabak MA/MM'95, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay (Calif.), and Jonathan Boiskin MA'95, Chief Development Officer, Birthright Israel Foundation, met up at a Birthright Israel Foundation donor event held in San Francisco, Calif.

New graduates now join the ranks of
#HornsteinAlumni! Below, 
learn where 
they are now working and keep track of
other alumni 
who have taken on
new roles in new places.

Joel Abramson MA/MBA’16
New position: Senior Development Officer
Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga.

Ashley Arnold MA/MBA’15
New position: Associate Director
Eser, Hebrew College, Newton, Mass.

Heather Kufert Blake MA/MBA'15
New position: Program Director
Congregation Etz Chaim, Marietta, Ga.

Alyssa Bogdanow MA/MPP’16
New position: Portfolio Associate
Jacobson Family Foundation, Boston, Mass. 

Elan Burman MA’06
New position: Capital Campaign Director
Maryland Hillel, College Park, Md.

Rachel Eisen MA/MA’16
New position: Director of Annual Giving
Mayyim Hayyim, Newton, Mass.

Alena Gomulina MA/MBA’16
New position: Program Manager
Leading Edge Alliance for Excellence in Jewish Leadership
New York, N.Y.

Melissa Goraj MA/MBA’13
New position: Financial Controller
Shalom Austin JCC, Austin, Tex.

Ariel Hausman MA/MBA’16
New position: Business Director
Bnai Shalom Day School, Greensboro, N.C.

Tamar Moskowitz Jacobson MA/MBA’11
New position: Manager of Individual and Corporate Giving
Food Bank for Westchester, Elmsford, N.Y.

Adam Kolett MA/MBA’09
New position: Executive Director
Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Flo.

David Korenthal MA/MBA’16
New position: IACT National Program Officer
Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, 
Boston, Mass.

Elisheva Massel MA/MBA’14
New position: Director of Outreach
Hazon, New York, N.Y. 

Eric Maurer MA/MBA’16
New position: Director at JTConnect
Jewish Teen Learning Connection, Hartford, Conn.

Sara Miller MA/MBA’16
New position: Director of Strategic Partnerships
Richard Levin & Associates, Wellesley Hills, Mass.

Naomi Rosenfeld MA/MBA’16
New position: Executive Director
Atlantic Jewish Council, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Rebecca Shapiro Ruberg BA/MA’11
New position: Director, New York Teen Initiative
Jewish Education Project, New York, N.Y.

Connect with Your
Hornstein Alumni Network

Here's how!

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Facebook: Brandeis Hornstein

Join our private Facebook group page, Brandeis Hornstein. Benefits are similar to those below. (To join, look us up and ask to join.)

HornsteinAlumni Google Group

Google Group: HornsteinAlumni

Subscribe to the new HornsteinAlumni Google Group email listserv created by David Manchester MA/MBA '15. Benefits include opportunities to:

  • Ask career-related questions or provide answers
  • Find out if alumni live in your area or locations you are traveling to and establish relationships
  • Talk with your peers about issues of concern and interest

To manage and personalize your Google Group settings,
go to!myforums and change your setting from "all emails" to one of the following:

  • No emails
  • Abridged Emails (Daily summary with the beginning of emails.  This is like the eJewishPhilanthropy morning email)
  • Daily Digest (Daily email with the full content of 25 messages.  If there are more than 25 messages you will get more than 1 email)
  • All emails (Delivers each email in real time when it is sent by the user)

We hope you'll take advantage of these virtual meeting places for Hornstein alumni and appreciate your participation!

#HornsteinAlumni Meetups

Do you want to get together with Hornstein alumni in your area?
Let us know! We are happy to help make it happen!

Keep Hornstein Updated!

If you're a Hornstein graduate, we want to hear from you!
Please use this form to update us of your news.

Hornstein Program

Sunday, August 21, 2016
Class of 2018 orientation!

We are excited to welcome the new students of Hornstein’s Class of 2018 to campus on August 21 for orientation! Student cochairs Melanie Phillips MA/MBA’17 and Chen Arad MA/MBA’17 are planning the event with Prof. Mark Rosen.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Fall Semester classes start 

Here & There!

Daniel Larson and Natasha Nefedyeva with Israeli students participating in a Heller School summer program.

Daniel Larson MA/MBA'17 (left) and Natalia Nefedyeva MA/MBA'17 (center) and other students from The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University met visiting Israeli and Palestinian social entrepreneurs for a mixer in late June. The visiting Israelis and Palestinians are involved in Our Generation Speaks, a program that brings young social entrepreneurs to Brandeis University for a variety of courses on NGO operations. 


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.

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