Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies
415 South Street
Waltham, MA 02453
Leonard Saxe is Klutznick Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies and directs the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and the Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis University. He is the recipient of the 2012 Marshall Sklare Award.
Professor Saxe is a social psychologist, as well as a methodologist, and is concerned with the application of social science to social policy issues. His present focus is on religious and ethnic identity and specifically addresses issues relevant to the Jewish community.
Janet Krasner Aronson, PhD is the associate director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis University. She earned her PhD in social policy at the Heller School for Social Policy at Brandeis where she examined the impact of Birthright Israel on the parents of the participants. Janet's primary research areas include local Jewish community studies, and she has directed studies in Boston, Washington, DC, Palm Beach County, FL and Cincinnati. She also teaches in the Hornstein Program for Jewish Professional Leadership at Brandeis, where she runs the Myra Kraft Seminar on Israel. She is interested in studying emerging trends in Jewish engagement, which present both methodological challenges for researchers as well as substantive challenges for community organizations.
Prior to joining CMJS, she worked as a computer programmer, a graphic designer and religious school teacher. She was a member of the first cohort of the Barnard College/Jewish Theological Seminary double-degree program, in which she earned bachelor's degrees in computer science and Bible. She has an MA in applied sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Masha Sud Lokshin is the assistant director at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and the Steinhardt Social Research Institute. She is responsible for the administrative coordination of the institutes and manages budgets, personnel and office administration, as well as communication with other campus departments and outside collaborators. Masha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Brandeis University and an MBA from Bentley College. Prior to coming to CMJS, she worked in the financial and consulting industries. She is a native Russian speaker. In addition to her language abilities, she brings knowledge of Russian culture and history and organizational expertise to the institutes.
Ilana Friedman is the program administrator at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies. Originally from Palo Alto, California, Ilana graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Curry College magna cum laude where she majored in communication and concentrated in theatre. While at Curry College, she held several leadership positions on campus, including president of Hillel.