Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz joins Genesis Philanthropy Group Advisory Board

Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz

Brandeis University President Jehuda Reinharz has joined Genesis Philanthropy Group’s International Advisory Board, the group has announced. Reinharz will advise the foundation on its work in the United States and other countries where Genesis operates.

“We are very honored to have President Reinharz on the GPG team,” said Stan Polovets, president and one of the five founders of Genesis. “His outstanding achievements, experience and commitment to the Jewish people will inaugurate a new stage in educational opportunities for the Russian-speaking Jewish community in North America. His wise counsel will help GPG maintain its reputation as one of the most prominent international foundations active in Jewish philanthropy.”

The Genesis Philanthropy Group develops and enhances Jewish identity among Russian- speaking Jews worldwide, with a particular emphasis on the Former Soviet Union, North America, and Israel. GPG is committed to supporting and launching projects and programming in institutions that are focused on ensuring that Jewish culture, heritage, and values are preserved in Russian-speaking Jewish communities across the globe.

Brandeis University and GPG have been working together since 2007 on a number of programs.  With a $10.8 million grant in 2009, Genesis established the Brandeis Genesis Institute to provide scholarships for Russian-speaking Jews who wish to be of service to the Jewish community. The scholarships allow those students to attend Brandeis programs for high school, undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students. The institute also offers special outreach programs to Russian-Jewish communities and has established a network for development among its alumni – all crucial to fostering a lifelong, worldwide network of engaged Russian-speaking Jews.

“I am pleased with the friendship that has developed between Brandeis and Genesis Philanthropy Group,” said
  Reinharz. “We are at a pivotal time in the Jewish community, with many opportunities for growth and engagement of our members. Russian-speaking Jews have a great deal to share about their unique history and ties to our heritage, and learning from them and with them about our common bonds will enrich us all.”

BGI recently appointed Anna Ronell, Ph.D., as its director. Ronell, whose academic expertise is in the area of Eastern European Jewish literature and culture, previously taught at Wellesley College.

The GPG Advisory Board is chaired by Major General (Ret.) Elazar Stern, former head of the Human Resources and Education Branch of the Israeli Defense Forces. Other members include Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel; Misha Galperin, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington; Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg, former president of the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life; John Healy, former president of the Atlantic Philanthropies; Alan Hoffmann, director general of the Education Department, Jewish Agency for Israel; Avraham Infeld, former president, Chais Family Foundation; and Aliza Shenhar, Israeli ambassador to Russia (1994-1997) and president of Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel.

About Jehuda Reinharz

Jehuda Reinharz earned concurrent bachelor’s degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He earned his master’s degree in medieval Jewish history from Harvard University in 1968 and his doctorate in modern Jewish history from Brandeis University in 1972.
  He was the first professor of Jewish history at the University of Michigan from 1972 to 1982, where he established a program in Judaic Studies. In 1982, he became the Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History at Brandeis University. Two years later he was named director of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry at Brandeis and eight years later founded the Jacob and Libby Goodman Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel. From 1991 to 1994, Reinharz served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. In 1994, he became the seventh president of Brandeis University.

President Reinharz is the author of more than one hundred articles and twenty three books in various languages, and the recipient of honorary doctorates from Hebrew Union College, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Fairfield University, Ben Gurion University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 1992, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In 1995, President Reinharz was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1999, a member of the Council on Foreign Affairs.

About the Genesis Philanthropy Group

Genesis Philanthropy Group was established in the summer of 2007 by Mikhail Fridman, German Khan, Pyotr Aven, Alex Knaster, and Stan Polovets. In the past 18 months, GPG has made over 30 grants, to organizations such as Taglit-Birthright Israel, Moscow State University, the Israel Defense Force's Education Department, Limmud, Maccabi, and the New York Jewish Museum. Its most recent grants include $ 4.4 million USD to the Foundation for Jewish Camps, $10.8 million to Brandeis University, and $4.4 USD million to the Yad Vashem Museum. For more information, visit the Genesis Philanthropy Group Web site.

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