Welcome to the Hornstein Class of 2018!

It was a warm Sunday in late August when Hornstein students, faculty, and staff gathered for the day to welcome the new Class of 2018 into the program. Much of the day was spent at the Brandeis University campus. It concluded at the home of Professor Mark Rosen and his wife, Sarita, where we enjoyed dinner and conversation with faculty and attending alumni. This year's orientation was organized by student cochairs Melanie Phillips and Chen Arad with guidance from Prof. Rosen.

for Fall 2017

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In This Newsletter

Using Data to Drive Jewish Communal Policy

How Jewish Summer Camps Are Using Data to Grow their Jewish Missions

Using Data to Change Perceptions and Demonstrate Impact – The Case of Chabad on Campus

Q&A with
Dara Freedman-Weiss

Q&A with
David Manchester

in the News


Nuts & Bolts
How to Connect with your Alumni

Alumni Gatherings


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Shanah Tovah

Shanah Tovah e-greeting from the Hornstein Program

The illustration for this year's Shanah Tovah e-greeting card was done by Hornstein student, Mollie Feldman MA/MA'17.

Orientation 2016

Photo Album on Facebook
Orientation 2016 Facebook photo gallery 

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 | November 2016

Hornstein Program Orientation 2016 Brandeis University

Research & Data-Informed Decision-Making in Jewish NonProfit Management

"As important as it is for Jewish communal leaders to use data to help shape Jewish communal policy, 'counting' alone is not sufficient," says Professor Leonard Saxe, Director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and on the faculty of Hornstein. "Just as our communal problems are complex, research responses must be more than decontextualized numbers."  

Leonard Saxe

Using Data to Drive Jewish Communal Policy

By Professor Leonard Saxe

A dictum attributed to Albert Einstein quips, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” It’s a pithy statement of humility about collecting and using data.

As important as it is for Jewish communal leaders to use data to help shape Jewish communal policy, “counting” alone is not sufficient. Just as our communal problems are complex, research responses must be more than decontextualized numbers.

For nearly two decades, my colleagues and I at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and the Steinhardt Social Research Institute have tried to conduct contextualized, policy-relevant, research. We apply cutting-edge methodological techniques to understand the contemporary Jewish community and provide information that can inform communal decision-making. Although the use of data by the Jewish community often emphasizes counting—how many Jews, how many intermarriages, how many children go to day schools or summer camps—our focus explores the determinants of Jewish engagement and trends over time.

Analyses that focus on comparisons, rather than measurements of characteristics or outcomes, are central to almost all of the research we do. Although for some, measurement has become synonymous with systematic research, we believe it is only part of what is needed to develop useful policy-relevant research findings...

Read the full article>

Joseph Reimer

How Jewish Summer Camps Are Using Data to Grow their Jewish Missions

By Professor Joseph Reimer

In recent years the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) and other Jewish foundations have become convinced (and I heartily agree) that the American Jewish community has a stake in Jewish residential camps and their capacities to offer both campers and staff meaningful and powerful Jewish experiences. Summer camps are immersive environments in which many Jewish youth will likely have the most extensive and intensive North American Jewish experiences of their young lives. We ought to care about the Jewish quality of those summer experiences.

But how can these foundations help the “culturally Jewish camps” to develop their Jewish missions? The FJC leadership knows from experience that there is no simple formula to accomplish that goal. Each camp has developed its culture and its resistance to changing that culture. Camp people are highly sensitive to the charge that “your camp can become more Jewish.” Often they like their Jewishness just the way it is.

To respond to these sensitivities and yet encourage change, the FJC has launched the Hiddur program to work intensively with eight different Jewish camps from New Hampshire to Oregon. These camps applied and were selected for Hiddur. Each has been assigned an experienced coach to help that camp’s leadership to design a change process that will work best for their camp culture. The coaches have been working with both the lay and professional leadership and have met as well with the summer staff that will be most involved in the change process. Hiddur was designed to be a three-year change process and the camps are now entering the second year of that process. I serve as a coach to the coaches.

I want to focus on one aspect of Hiddur. Each Hiddur camp uses two data-gathering inventories to help the leadership gain a more accurate perception of how its constituents view many aspects of the camp program... 

Read the full article>

Mark I. Rosen

Using Data
to Change
& Demonstrate Impact – The Case of Chabad on Campus

By Professor Mark I. Rosen

There are now almost 200 American campuses with either a permanent Chabad center or a regular Chabad presence.

Despite the seeming disparity between the Orthodox orientation of Chabad and the more liberal social and religious values of most Millennial Jews, Chabad is attracting increasing numbers of Jewish students. The growth and success of Chabad on Campus caught the attention of philanthropist Roger Hertog, who decided to commission and fund a study to understand why Chabad on Campus International was so successful and what effect it was having on the students who attended. I was chosen to conduct the study, and recruited Steven Cohen, Arielle Levites, and Ezra Kopelowitz to work with me on the project.

While our primary mandate from the funder was to determine whether involvement with Chabad during college had an impact on the post-college lives of participants, we also recognized that the Jewish community did not always view Chabad in a positive fashion, which manifested in a lack of funding from foundations and federations.

Our task as researchers was to use data to confirm or dispel these perceptions. 

Read the full article>

#HornsteinALUMNI contribute

Two Hornstein alumni who are actively involved in measurement studies answered a few questions about their experiences with data within a Jewish nonprofit environment.  

Dara Freedman-Weiss

Project Manager, Planning
Combined Jewish Philanthropies

Dara Freedman-Weiss

I started at CJP as a Project Specialist working on measurement and reporting as CJP continued to develop program and impact measurement. As a project manager one of my tasks is to work across the planning department to help create logic models which include measurement plans for different content areas. I also help think about how to communicate the information effectively as well as the strategic or programmatic implications data may have.

I am involved in the 2015 Greater Boston Jewish Community study on the CJP side though I was not part of the research nor analysis, which were both conducted by the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies.

Q: Why does data matter in nonprofit decision-making?

In order to help ensure that strategies are effective at achieving their intended impact within a community or content area, we need to rely on both qualitative and quantitative data. Data helps us make strategic decisions about whether to modify, grow, or revamp an approach to different problems or opportunities we seek to address. In nonprofits, making trade-off decisions in an environment of limited funds and competing or changing goals becomes difficult. Data creates the potential for more informed decision-making based on evidence of successes and need for change within programs.

Q: Do you think most Jewish nonprofits use data in their decision-making? What is the trend in your experience?

I think most non-profits use data ‘light’ in their decision making. Program managers have a general feel for the data but may not have a formal data collection, analysis, and review process. Rigorous impact measurement can be prohibitively expensive. Most organizations collect output data (how many people they serve, for example), but it is much more difficult to collect impact data especially in fields where the impact may be much more anecdotal than measurable. There is a definite trend toward an increase in outcome rather than output measurement and more rigorous data collection in general; however, the simultaneous trend of a decrease in support for overhead and unrestricted funds can make these two trends stand in opposition.

Read more>

David Manchester

Graduate Research Associate,
Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies
PhD Student in Social Policy,
Heller School for Social Policy and Management

David Manchester

At my first job at Hadassah I was asked to look into data that had been collected about a program and report back to my lay leaders. I loved the project and identified several process changes that I believed would improve the program and save money. Eight years later, those changes are still in place. I then worked for a for-profit company designing and tracking metrics to help make them more efficient and profitable. The work interested me but I struggled with a personally motivating mission. It was during that job that I decided to return to Jewish communal work supporting Jewish organizations to incorporate research and data to their decision making. I came to Hornstein as a MA/MPP student to begin developing the skills I would need to conduct high quality analysis and after graduating in 2015 decided to continue for a PhD.

Q: What procedure do you use to determine which metrics you need?

It may surprise you how many organizations struggle to clearly identify the outcomes they seek to achieve. As a result, I begin with a series of questions to stakeholders to determine what it is they are trying to accomplish. You can consider some of these:

  1. What is the issue impacting the community that we are trying to address?
  2. What will happen over the next 10 years if this goes unaddressed?
  3. What will the community look like in 10 years if you are successful? (Often the reverse of the previous question.)
  4. What do you hope participants experience?
  5. Do you hope to change anything about their life?
  6. What do you think the goals of the organization are?

Because many programs are seeking out different goals it is important to customize the analysis for their goals. I also review any reporting requests from funders and foundations. If you are designing a new system, you want to make sure you will capture what funders are interested in and engage them in conversation if you think they are not asking the correct questions. Once those are identified, I typically will develop a logic model with the staff that seeks to document the order in which outcomes will be measurable and then begin building measures based on the desired outcomes identified.

Read more>

In the News

(Selected list)


What's in Our Portfolio? By Joseph J. Levin MA'99
November 7, 2016, eJewishPhilanthropy

How can we ensure we’re not working in cross-purposes to our mission or unintentionally divesting of Israeli assets? 

Naomi Rosenfeld, 24, has taken over as executive director of the Atlantic Jewish Council from retiring Jon Goldberg, who held the position for many years. (ERIC WYNNE / Local Xpress)


Atlantic Jewish Council passes torch to Toronto-born

Citing alumna, Naomi Rosenfeld MA/MBA'16: At the Atlantic Jewish Council's office in Halifax, 24-year-old Naomi Rosenfeld is the new executive director. The Toronto native succeeds Jon Goldberg, 70, who remains with the agency but intends to retire in December. A transition period has been in effect for weeks, to help the organization adjust to the change in leadership.

The Truth About Anti-Semitism on Campus—
It’s Not All About Israel
by Sam Kestenbaum, October 24, 2016, The Forward

Citing Professor Leonard Saxe: Reports of anti-Semitic assaults rose dramatically in the past year, particularly on college campuses. And while there may be a tendency to view all critique of Israel as anti-Semitic, a new study finds that at three major universities, politics are not to blame.


Jewish Voters May Swing Results in Battleground States
by Daniel Parmer and David Manchester MA/MPP'15

Jews may account for roughly only 2 percent of the American adult population, but their concentration in a number of swing states and counties makes them a potentially pivotal demographic in this fall’s presidential election.

Study: Campus Chabads Reinforce Students’
Jewish Identities,
by Armin Rosen, October 11, 2016, Tablet

Citing Professor Mark Rosen's new Chabad on Campus study: Last month, a team of researchers published the most important study to date about the impact of Chabad’s outreach on college campuses, surveying 2,400 students from 22 colleges who had graduated in 2007 or later. In sum, the study found that the higher a student’s degree of Chabad involvement, the more likely they are to have their Jewish identities positively reinforced. 

The Blockage in the Pipeline: Reflecting on
Leading Edge’s Employee Engagement Survey
by Daniel Larson MA/MBA'17 and Arielle Branitsky
October 5, 2016, eJewishPhilanthropy

Just as no one opinion is authoritative, no two work experiences can possibly reflect the totality of conditions in a professional field. That said, as Jewish professionals who have experience with both the Canadian and American Jewish communal landscapes, we feel that in light of the recent Employee Engagement Survey released by Leading Edge, the time is right for an examination of the obstacles impacting talent retention and elevation in our communal organizations. 

Hornstein Orientation 2015

In Search of a New Generation of Jewish Leaders
by Uriel Heilman, October 2016, Hadassah Magazine

Citing Professor Jonathan D. Sarna and the Hornstein Program: The organized Jewish world is poised to undergo a sea change. Over the next five to seven years, studies indicate, an estimated 75 to 90 percent of the nation’s roughly 10,000 Jewish organizations—including about 3,000 synagogues and hundreds of JCCs—will require new leaders. The many baby boomers who lead institutions will be retiring, and it’s not clear who will take their place.

For the vast majority of these institutions, which see themselves as critical to perpetuating vibrant Jewish life, closing down is inconceivable. On the contrary, given the challenge of getting younger people interested in Jewish life, they see their success—and the need for able administrators—as more critical than ever. 

Finding Alignment in Federation Mission (Trips)
by Daniel Larson MA/MBA'17, September 27, 2016, eJewishPhilanthropy

As a Jewish professional entering his late 20s and who is passionate about the Federation system, I have to clear my conscience and admit that I am a convert to those mainstay programs of myriad Jewish communal organizations: mission trips. What does this mean? As a young(er) adult, I thought that mission trips were anything but authentic experiences. In July... [my views] were pleasantly shattered... 

Chabad on Campus

6 surprising findings about Chabad on Campus
by Ben Sales, September 20, 2016, JTA

Citing Professor Mark Rosen: Fifteen years ago, most Jewish college students had one game in town: their local Hillel, which offered a pluralistic, broad approach to Jewish programming. That has changed. The Hasidic movement known as Chabad-Lubavitch, present on only 30 campuses before 2000, now has a presence on nearly 200 with its brand of Judaism: aiming to be inclusive and tolerant, but unabashedly Orthodox. 

Now a study led by Mark Rosen, associate professor at Brandeis University’s Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program,  aims to show what Chabad does — and does not do — on campuses across the country. 

Recent Publications

"Under the Chuppah: Rabbinic Officiation and Intermarriage," Leonard SaxeFern ChertokGraham WrightShahar Hecht, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University, October 2016. Under the Chuppah: Rabbinic Officiation and Intermarriage

"Hotspots of Antisemitism and Anti-Israel Sentiment on U.S. Campuses," Leonard Saxe, Graham Wright, Shahar Hecht, Michelle ShainTheodore SassonFern Chertok, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University, October 2016.
Hotspots of Antisemitism and Anti-Israel Sentiment on US Campuses
"Diversity, Pressure, and Divisions on the University of Pennsylvania Campus," Michelle ShainFern ChertokGraham WrightShahar HechtAnnette Koren, Richard J. Gelles (University of Pennsylvania), Leonard Saxe, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University, October 2016. Diversity, Pressure, and Divisions on the University of Pennsylvania Campus
American Jewish Population Project, Leonard Saxe, Elizabeth Tighe, Raquel Magidin de Kramer, Daniel Parmer, Ryan Victor, Eve Farber, Scott Schubert, Rachel Bernstein, David Manchester, Steinhardt Social Research Institute at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University. American Jewish Population Map Project
"The Hertog Study: Chabad on Campus," Mark I. Rosen, Steven M CohenArielle LevitesEzra Kopelowitz, Hertog Foundation, September 22, 2016. The Hertog Study: Chabad on Campus
"Israel Face to Face: Evaluation of the Israel Fellows Program," Fern Chertok Annette Koren, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University, September 2016. Israel Face to Face: Evaluation of the Israel Fellows Program

Nuts & Bolts

How To Connect with Your
#HornsteinALUMNI Network

Brandeis Hornstein Facebook top banner

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/MPP '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 https://groups.google.com/forum/#!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

JFNA General Assembly
8pm, Sunday, November 13, 2016
Location: TBA
Contact Sara Miller MA/MBA'16 or the Hornstein office for details

Kraft Seminar to Israel
December 21, 22, or 25 (to be confirmed) 2016 
Plans in progress; contact us for more information

Southern Florida
The planning of an alumni reunion in southern Florida is underway though dates have not yet be determined. Contact Elliot Karp MA'80 or this office for details. 

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 Calendar

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Hornstein/Heller Campus Visit Day for students interested in our MA/MBA track

Thursday-Friday, November 23-25, 2016
Thanksgiving Recess

December 5, 2016
Hornstein/Heller Campus Visit Day for students interested in our MA/MPP track

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Last day of classes 

Tuesday-Thursday, December 20-29, 2016
Kraft Seminar to Israel

Here & There!

Community time, November 7, 2016

Community Time is a regularly scheduled gathering of both cohorts of the Hornstein Program when students take the initiative. They may organize special presentations, plan events, and get to know each other as a community. This week's community time granted opportunities for each student to present on a topic of interest. Topics ranged from Israeli and Flamenco dance, to politics, to keeping fit with smoothies and running, and much more. We were joined by three fellows from the Nachshon Project who were at Brandeis exploring our graduate studies programs.


This issue of Impact was conceptualized and produced by
Claire Pavlik Purgus, program manager at the Hornstein Program.

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

If you're a Hornstein graduate, use this form to update us with your professional and personal news. We look forward to hearing from you.

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