With support from the Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Brandeis Jewish Leadership Incubator (BJLI) will host a 12-month fellowship for Russian-speaking professionals who work at Jewish communal organizations in the United States and Canada. The program, designed for individuals with one to five years of professional experience, will help to develop the skill-set, knowledge, and strong network of peers that is critical for professional advancement within the North American Jewish community.
“To date, Russian speakers remain underrepresented in the organized American Jewish community — especially its leadership,” said Victor Vitkin, executive director of the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry. “The disproportionately low number of Russian-speaking communal professionals deprives Jewish organizations of engaging an exceptional pool of talent. By advancing Russian speakers in the professional Jewish world, the leadership training program will create important opportunities for mutual understanding and enrichment for all segments of the American Jewish community.”
The fellowship will encompass intensive professional seminars, overseas educational travel and a year-long cycle of online instruction. BJLI curriculum will emphasize core management and leadership skills in the context of Jewish teaching, as well as American and Russian Jewish history. Prominent faculty from Brandeis University, leaders from major Jewish organizations, and leading practitioners in a variety of relevant fields will teach the BJLI courses and modules.
The program is scheduled to begin in January 2015. Up to 15 candidates will be accepted into the first cohort, with the goal of representing organizations from the range of Jewish communal institutions across North America.
Brandeis University is a national leader in recruiting and training Russian-speaking students for leadership positions in the U.S. and globally. Under the aegis of the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry, Russian-speaking college students and young adults develop their leadership potential and enrich their knowledge of Russian Jewish heritage and the Jewish community. The Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program provides residential graduate leadership training in a dual-degree program combining intensive academics, field-based experiences, and international travel to prepare visionary leaders for the 21st century Jewish community.
“Hornstein is deeply experienced in training Jewish leaders and innovators,” said Ellen Smith, Hornstein director and associate professor in Brandeis’ Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. “The Brandeis Jewish Leadership Incubator is the next important step in bringing Russian-speakers to these opportunities and networks, to the advantage of the entire Jewish community.”
“In launching the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry, we were looking to create systemic change in opportunities available in higher education for engaging Russian-speaking Jews in North America,” said Ilia Salita, executive director of Genesis Philanthropy Group in North America. “The combination of this, now prominent, institute focused on Russian Jewry with the premier program training leaders for the Jewish community, is truly unique. As the home of such an innovative initiative, Brandeis University is exceptionally well-placed to ensure that BJLI makes a significant contribution to nurturing the next generation of effective Russian-speaking Jewish communal professionals.”
“Creating more vibrant Jewish life fundamentally entails developing Jewish leaders from diverse backgrounds with the skill sets to engage 21st century Jewish communities,” added Chip Edelsberg, executive director of the Jim Joseph Foundation. “The BJLI will help these efforts significantly by offering this unique leadership training program for Russian-speaking Jewish community professionals. These leaders will have the opportunity to grow together as a cohort, learn from expert instructors, and experience Brandeis University’s dynamic academic environment.”
Ambassador Samantha Power highlighted Mangok Bol, MS ’13 in a speech on March 7 at the United Nations Security Council debate on children in armed conflict. Bol is currently in South Sudan, searching for his three nieces and a nephew, aged 2 through 8, who were abducted by militants in a raid that killed their parents.
“Our hearts go out to Mangok Bol, a former lost boy, now living in Boston, who has returned to his home village in South Sudan to try to find his nieces and nephews who’ve been abducted by militants from a competing ethnic group,” Power told to the council.
Power’s full statement can be read here.
An interview with Bol, recorded from Juba, South Sudan, is slated to air on WBUR’s Here and Now on Monday.
A fundraising site has been created to assist with expenses related to Bol's efforts to return the children to their family. Friends and colleagues can contribute online at: http://www.gofundme.com/6vxliw.
Chad Williams, chair of the African & Afro-American Studies Department, spoke at an event on Monday, Feb. 24 hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and held at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.
The event, sponsored by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, featured a screening of the new documentary “Veterans of Color.” Williams participated in a post-film discussion about African American veterans.
Williams is an expert on African Americans and the military. His first book, “Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era,” was published in 2010.
As many in our community already know, on Feb. 5 University students were injured in a pedestrian accident while crossing South Street in the crosswalk by Linsey Pool.
The safety of our community is paramount, and Brandeis immediately took steps to reach out to the City of Waltham to address safety issues in the area. We are grateful to the Waltham Police Department for their stepped-up enforcement of vehicle speed limits and crosswalk safety in the area, particularly around dusk, which have been very helpful in reinforcing to drivers and the Brandeis community that there is a need to exercise extreme caution in the area.
Ed Callahan, director of Public Safety, has met with City of Waltham officials to gain a better understanding of enhancements that can be made at this crosswalk to enhance pedestrian visibility and safety. They agreed upon a number of steps that will be taken, including:
- Enhancement of street lights on South Street from the Epstein Center to the crosswalk – in process.
- Addition of rectangular rapid-flash beacons to the existing crosswalk light poles. These beacons resemble police vehicle strobe lights and have been shown to increase drivers’ attention.
- Installation of dedicated spotlights over the crosswalk.
- Installation of a motion detector light activation system, eliminating the need for pedestrians to physically push the button to activate the lighting system.
- Rapid installation of larger signs on each crosswalk pole instructing pedestrians to push the button to activate crossing lights to enhance pedestrian use of the lights prior to installation of the motion detector system.
These enhancements will be made as quickly as possible in compliance with city policies and procedures and with regard to weather conditions and the possible need for temporary street closures.
Brandesia is a nation plagued by corruption, human rights violations and dependence on oil exports, not to mention a brain drain. Fortunately, a full-blown economic crisis in this fictional Middle East country was solved in fewer than four hours by a handful of Brandeis undergraduates.
Last Friday’s second annual intercollegiate Crisis Game, hosted by the Brandeis chapter of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and the Brandeis International Business School (IBS), ended with the youngest and tallest team of Brandeis IBS students devising the most viable economic strategy to address the woes of the bedeviled Brandeisia.
Team 1 — or, as they called themselves, “Team Nearly 7 Feet Tall” — beat out another Brandeis IBS team as well as a team from Bentley University and one from Fordham University. The winners, Mitchell Schwartz ’14, MA’15; Rosby Kome-Mensah II ’14, MA’15; Toma Cubrilo ’14, MA’15; and Alex Schmidt ’14, MA’15, shared a $250 cash prize.
The panel of judges consisted of Jeffrey C. Fuhrer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Sara Johnson of IHS Economics; David Katsnelson, MBA’09, of RISI; Stuart P.M. Mackintosh of Group of Thirty; and Olaf Unteroberdoerster, PhD’98, of the International Monetary Fund.
“The game is very realistic — the decisions are not made purely on data but on the cultural, military and political context,” said Mackintosh.
“The first NABE Crisis Game last year was a fun way for students to engage with simulations of crises such as those that we deal with at the Fed,” added Fuhrer. “It is excellent that this turned into an academic challenge.”
Anna Gramer, MA’14, and Alok Mistry, MA’14, co-presidents of NABE, focused on expanding the game this year. This included awarding a cash prize and organizing a post-competition career fair with representatives from McKinsey & Company, IHS Economics, RISI and the Boston NABE Chapter. The winners also won the chance to interview for an internship this summer with one of the judges’ employers.
“I think the most successful thing was having the different participants tell me how much they enjoyed the game,” said Gramer. “They were so happy just to have competed at all.”
More details about this year's competition are available on the Brandeis IBS website.
Recipients of a Civil Society Leadership Award will enroll at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management to pursue a master’s degree in sustainable international development, international health and management, or coexistence and conflict resolution. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must reside in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Laos, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan.
The deadline is March 1 for applying for the scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year. Please contact Jamie McCarthy for more information.
Chad Williams, chair of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies, was a keynote speaker at the San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society’s 2014 Black History Month kick off event.
Held at the San Francisco City Hall on Feb. 7, Williams was joined by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisors Malia Cohen and London Breed.
The San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society was founded in 1955 and is the oldest institution of its type in the Western United States. The Society's mission is to collect, preserve and present art, artifacts and recorded materials that reflect the history and culture of African Americans in San Francisco and the Bay Area. The Society also sponsors and supports research, publications and educational activities related to the history and culture of African Americans.
In what is becoming an annual tradition, two Brandeis students were awarded $5,000 scholarships from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund. This is the fourth consecutive year that Brandeis students have earned the national honor.
Shota Adamia ’15 and Kiran Gill ’15 were among the 131 scholarship recipients who were recognized at a dinner held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Jan. 8. More than 1,000 senior fashion industry executives and dignitaries attended the dinner, which also served as a benefit for the YMA, raising $1.8 million to support its scholarship, mentoring and internship programs.
During the evening, Gill met with some of today’s leading fashion executives and attended a fashion career fair. (Adamia was not able to be at the event due to an overseas travel commitment.) Among those attending the dinner were Tamara Mellon, former chief executive officer of Jimmy Choo and founder of the Tamara Mellon brand, George Feldenkreis, CEO of Perry Ellis, and Lana Cain Krauter, former president of Sears Apparel, who were honored for their many professional achievements within the fashion industry. Linda Fargo, senior vice president of Bergdorf Goodman, served as the evening’s emcee.
“The best part of the evening was meeting like-minded students from around the country who share an interest in fashion as well as having the opportunity to meet with professionals in the fashion industry,” said Gill, who is an art history major. “Having this chance to network and make connections will allow me to help jump start my career.”
Adamia said he was interested in the scholarship opportunity because it provided him with a channel to pursue and advance his interest in fashion. “The most valuable memory from [receiving] the scholarship, I think, is yet to come,” said Adamia, an economics and sociology double major. “The most interesting part of the experience will be the summer internship.”
Brandeis’ participation in the scholar program was made possible by Paul Rosengard ’80, YMA chairman emeritus and CEO of Boston Traders.
“The conversion rate of Brandeis applicants to scholars consistently outpaces that of their peers from the fashion schools and the Ivy League, and the Brandeis students continued their pattern of excellence in the 2014 competition,” said Rosengard. “What is more impressive and, frankly, more important, is the success with which the former scholars have matriculated into our industry. Since this is the YMA’s fundamental mission, we are thrilled that so many of them are now gainfully employed and making a contribution to the future of our industry.”
Recognizing the importance of creating these connections to the fashion industry, Brandeis has made a commitment to helping students compete successfully for the YMA scholarships, including forming a fashion scholarship advisory board. Alice Kelikian, associate professor of history, is the board’s academic chair. The other board members are Jane Ebert, assistant professor of marketing; Tory Fair, associate professor of sculpture; Chandler Rosenberger, assistant professor of international and global studies and sociology; and Grace Zimmerman, senior lecturer in the Brandeis International Business School. Joseph Du Pont, dean of the Hiatt Career Center and Caroline O’Shea, assistant director of employer relations at the Hiatt, assisted the students in preparing their applications.
Since the 2010-11 academic year, 11 Brandeis students have earned scholarships, internships and career mentoring from prominent senior executives; five of the recipients, who have since graduated from Brandeis, now work in the fashion industry.
“The value of the YMA program extends far beyond its scholarship support,” said Kelikian. “The connections the students make with industry leaders through the internship and the mentoring programs are invaluable and have served as a unique launching pad for their careers in the fashion industry, from design, to marketing, to legal counsel. We are indebted to the support of Paul Rosengard and our ambassador David Katz.”
Students interested in applying must be a sophomore, junior, or first-semester senior with at least a 3.0 grade-point average who wish to pursue a career in design, merchandising, retailing, journalism, computer science or business. Brandeis is one of 46 educational institutions nationwide selected to participate in the competition. Other participating schools include the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Cornell University, New York University, and the University of Wisconsin.
In addition to providing scholarship support, the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund facilitates internships with prestigious fashion companies and provides career mentoring by prominent senior executives who serve on the FSF Board. Participating companies have included Calvin Klein, Li & Fung, VF Sportswear, Fishman & Tobin, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Perry Ellis, Bloomingdales, Levi Strauss & Co., Target, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, and Randa Accessories.
For further information on applying for the fashion scholarship, please contact Alan Bertman.
Soon, the 18th-century accounts book that elucidates the history of the diverse Venetian Jewish community through its transactions will be preserved with a grant from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.
The book contains records of money lent from the Jewish community to a varied population – communal officials for their salary, emissaries seeking alms from the Holy Land, and non-Jewish artisans who had provided various services to the Italian Jewish community.
“This manuscript represents a significant unusual insight into the realities of Jewish life, primarily in the religious, economic and social realm, in a relatively neglected period in Venetian Jewish history,” says Ben Ravid, professor emeritus of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, who specializes in medieval and early modern Venice.
The book, Ravid says, is the rare treasure that survives from a once thriving community that attracted Jews from all over Europe and the Ottoman Empire. In fact, four Jewish communities – Italian, German, Levantine and Spanish-Portuguese – coexisted in Venice’s ghetto, each following slightly different traditions.
Few records remained from these communities following the Holocaust, making the account book a “unique manuscript, of which scholars and archives are presumably unaware,” Ravid explains. “Preserving, digitizing, and making it available to scholars worldwide, such as through the website Europeana and its subdivision Judaica Europeana, would constitute a significant contribution for all those interested in Jewish, Italian or Venetian history,” Ravid says.
Sarah Shoemaker, associate university librarian for Archives and Special Collections, says each page of the accounts book will ultimately be photographed, tagged, and translated from Italian or Hebrew into English.
The Brandeis International Business School (IBS) announced today that it has formalized a partnership with Universidad EAFIT, a private university in Medellin, Colombia, that will allow their finance students to study at Brandeis IBS and earn a dual-degree from EAFIT and Brandeis University.
After meeting certain academic requirements, students enrolled in the Masters of Financial Administration program at EAFIT can matriculate into Brandeis IBS’ Master’s of Science in Finance program for two semesters. Upon graduation, students will receive their respective degrees from both institutions.
The partnership is a part of Brandeis IBS’ Latin America initiative, which is focused on creating avenues of global cooperation and exchange to benefit students and faculty in both countries.
"Colombia is among the most dynamic and fastest growing countries in Latin America, and we are pleased that this partnership will bring their outstanding finance professionals to Brandeis," said Brandeis IBS Dean Bruce Magid. "Both EAFIT and Brandeis share the same mission of helping our students make an impact across continents and across cultures, and this opportunity for them to study and work together will empower them to do just that."
“In line with EAFIT’s slogan ‘abierta al mundo’ or ‘open to the world,’ we are very pleased for these avenues of collaboration that have been built with Brandeis IBS,” said Juan Felipe Mejía, dean for the School of Economics and Finance at Universidad EAFIT. “This will be a very attractive partnership for many of our students, not just because of the academic possibilities, but also because of the opportunity to meet other cultures and people. Besides the exchange of students, we look forward to starting a strong and enriching bilateral relation in terms of faculty and research exchange.”
"The economic partnership between Massachusetts and Colombia continues to grow stronger, in part because of our shared commitment to using education as an engine for growth,” said Monica Pinzon Bueno, Colombian Consul General to Boston. “This relationship between the Brandeis International Business School and EAFIT is yet another example of the ways in which Massachusetts and Colombia can work together to prepare our young leaders for the jobs of tomorrow."
Brandeis IBS, which sent representatives to Colombia last October to coordinate the partnership, will accept students from EAFIT each academic year. At the invitation of Universidad EAFIT and Dean Juan Felipe Mejía, Magid will travel to Colombia this March to host information sessions and meet with interested students.
As part of the agreement, the two schools are considering the establishment of a faculty exchange, in which visiting professors will prepare and lead an intensive 15-day finance-based course that is not currently offered at the host university.
The two schools are now accepting applicants for the 2014-15 academic year.
A Brandeis alumnus and five authors affiliated with the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI) have won recognition from the National Jewish Book Council for writing outstanding Jewish literature.The critically acclaimed “FDR and the Jews,” an examination of Roosevelt's policy toward the Jews of Hitler's Europe, won in the category of American Jewish studies. “I am very proud to win this prestigious national award with my coauthor Richard Breitman,” says Allan Lichtman ’67, a professor of history at American University in Washington, D.C. “The award came as independent recognition of our hard work and efforts to provide a balanced and nuanced account of FDR’s response to Jewish issues during the Nazi era.”
“Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools,” written by Chaya Rosenfeld Gorsetman and Elana Maryles Sztokman, won in the category of education and Jewish identity. The book was published by Brandeis University Press in the HBI Series on Jewish Women and edited by Shulamit Reinharz, director of the HBI and Women’s Studies Research Center, and Sylvia Barack Fishman, co-director of the HBI and chair of Near Eastern and Judaic studies.
A former HBI scholar in residence, Melissa Klapper wrote “Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women’s Activism, 1890-1940,” which won in the category of women’s studies. “Her time here was spent researching this book,” says Amy Powell, HBI’s director of communications.
Elissa Bemporad received an HBI research award in 2007 for her book “Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk.” She won an award for writing based on archival material. Nina S. Spiegel, a scholar-in-residence at HBI three years ago, was a finalist in the same category for her book, “Embodying Hebrew Culture: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine.”
“Gender and Timebound Commandments in Judaism,” by Elizabeth Shanks Alexander, was a finalist in women's studies. Alexander received a research award from HBI in 2009 for her book.
Nancy K. Winship, P’10, P’13, Brandeis’ senior vice president of institutional advancement, has won the prestigious Quarter Century Circle Award for distinguished professional achievement from District I of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
She will receive the award at a ceremony Jan. 29 during CASE’s annual district conference in Boston. District I encompasses the six New England states plus eastern Canada.
In 20 years as Brandeis’ chief fundraiser, Winship has been a major change agent, energizing donors, reconnecting disengaged alumni and implementing sophisticated giving programs. She has been an integral part of a fundraising effort that has secured more than $1.4 billion for Brandeis since her arrival in 1994.
“Nancy Winship is one of those extraordinary advancement professionals who lives and breathes her profession 24 hours a day,” says John J. Glier, chief executive of GG+A, a leading international philanthropic consultancy. “Her work with volunteer leaders, chief executives and academic thought leaders has helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars to support an extraordinary range of mission-critical initiatives. Her loyalty and commitment to her staff and their professional growth is equally remarkable. She richly deserves this recognition, and I know I join many who applaud her as both colleague and friend.”
During Winship’s tenure at Brandeis, annual fundraising has quadrupled, the endowment has grown to $820 million, and gifts from alumni have grown sixfold. Each year, she has exceeded challenging Annual Fund targets and met ambitious fundraising goals for scholarships.
Before coming to Brandeis, she served as vice president for endowment and development at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston, and as director of metropolitan relations and associate director for planned and major gifts at Northwestern University.