Sara Miller

On the arts, education and her vision of a better world

Sara Miller MA/MBA ’16Sara Miller, MA/MBA’16

The arts, an educator's mindset and Jewish roots play largely into Sara Miller's outlook on life. She came to Brandeis University as an undergraduate student knowing she would find strong Jewish studies and music departments.

“I was set on majoring in NEJS (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies) when I began as a first-year student at Brandeis,” says Sara.

“Especially since I didn't go to day school, I didn't have a solid grounding in Jewish texts. I was that kid who enjoyed going to religious school and paid attention… What I sought upon entering college was a rigorous academic experience. Majoring in NEJS was for me an exercise in understanding more precisely and deeply about the kinds of things — Jewish things — I was passionate about.”

At Brandeis as an undergrad, Sara's extracurricular activities fell into two themes: the arts and Jewish life.

“I led the Hillel Orientation Committee and the Brandeis Reform Chavurah, and participated in Hillel Theater Group, University Chorus, Brandeis Swing Dancing Group and Hooked on Tap, among others — though not all at the same time!”

Sara's current musical instruments are piano and guitar. Every Sunday at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham she song-leads for groups of young people. “It's hard to believe that I've been song-leading for 10 years now,” she says. “Music is a great educational tool.”

Sara Miller leading a Birthright tour. Sara Miller speaks to a group of participants for Taglit-Birthright Israel on the bus.

While Sundays will find Sara at Temple Beth Shalom songleading, the rest of the week she's working part-time as manager of special projects at Richard Levin & Associates — Richard is a Hornstein alumnus from 1976 — attending classes and completing assignments at Hornstein, and co-chairing the Hornstein Gender Initiative with classmate Rachel Eisen.

“The Hornstein Gender Initiative came to life for Rachel and me in part because we already knew we are very good at working collaboratively. We are both passionate about the issues surrounding gender equity and work-life balance. We hope that the Hornstein Gender Initiative will be a forum in which we can learn about gender issues in the Jewish professional world, the experience of Hornstein alumni and galvanize a conversation in the Hornstein community about our roles as Jewish professional leaders in helping to create a better world,” says Sara.

“I think some of this ‘better world' comes from making our organizations more conducive to professionals with families, being more consciously and intentionally welcoming and inclusive, and providing opportunities for pluralism to bloom and thrive.”

And she'd foster relationship-building with compassion in the driver's seat.

If she had to use just one word to describe her modus operandi, it would be empathy.

This interview with Sara Miller was published in the Hornstein Program's Impact Newsletter, December 2015. If you would like to quote any part of this conversation, please attribute content to Sara Miller and the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University and link to this page. All rights reserved.

“Good leaders develop relationships. They approach their work thoughtfully and strategically. They are empathic and listen to others.”

Sara Miller, MA/MBA’16