The Milender Seminar in Jewish Communal Leadership provided an unusual opportunity for intensive engagement with outstanding Jewish professionals over several days of workshops, presentations and discussion. Students were expected to plan, run and evaluate this seminar as a learning tool.
This year we welcomed Rabbi Sharon Brous from IKAR as our 2015 Milender Fellow. The seminar opened March 29 and concluded on the evening of March 30 with a public panel discussion and dessert reception.
Four rabbis — each with distinctive experiences and practices, and all with the common aim of creating new models of Jewish community — engaged in conversation.
Engaging, Spiritual and Relevant Congregations —What Does This Mean and How Do We Build Them?
Monday, March 30, 2015
International Lounge, Usdan Student Center
Rabbi Sharon Brous is the founding rabbi of IKAR, a spiritual community dedicated to reanimating Jewish life by standing at the intersection of soulful, inventive religious practice and a deep commitment to social justice.
Since starting IKAR in 2004, Brous has been recognized a number of times as one of the nation’s leading rabbis by Newsweek/The Daily Beast and as one of the 50 most influential American Jews by The Jewish Daily Forward.
In 2013 she blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service. She sits on the faculty of the Hartman Institute-North America, Wexner Heritage and REBOOT, and serves on the International Council of the New Israel Fund and rabbinic advisory council to American Jewish World Service and Bend the Arc. She was honored to receive the Lives of Commitment Award from Auburn Theological Seminary and was the inaugural recipient of the Inspired Leadership Award from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. Jewish Women International has honored her as a Woman to Watch.
Brous was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2001 and received a master’s degree in human rights from Columbia University, where she also received her bachelor’s degree. After ordination, she served as a rabbinic fellow at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York City.
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld has been dean of the Hebrew College Rabbinical School since 2006. After graduating from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1990, Anisfeld spent 15 years working in pluralistic settings as a Hillel rabbi at Tufts, Yale and Harvard universities. She has been a summer faculty member for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel since 1993, and is co-editor of two volumes of women's writings on Passover: "The Women's Seder Sourcebook: Rituals and Readings for Use at the Passover Seder" (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002) and "The Women's Passover Companion: Women's Reflections on the Festival of Freedom" (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002). From 2011 to 2013, Anisfeld was named to Newsweek's list of Top 50 Influential Rabbis in America.
Dr. Amy Sales is associate professor at the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program, director of the Institute for Jewish Philanthropy and Leadership, and associate director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. Trained as a social psychologist, she conducts research on Jewish institutions and their role in creating Jewish life and community.
- 2015: Sharon Brous, Founding Rabbi, IKAR
- 2013: Darrell Friedman, Senior Executive Consultant to the American Joint Distribution Committee.
- 2011: Sanford R. Cardin, President of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
- 2009: Deborah Cogan Swartz, Board Chair; and Rabbi Joshua Elkin, Executive Director of The Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE).
- 2007: Barry Shrage, President, and Myra Kraft z"l, Board Chair, Combined Jewish Philanthropies
- 2005: Jonathan Woocher, President, JESNA
- 2003: Audrey Weiner, President and CEO, Jewish Home and Hospital and Jeffrey Solomon, President, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies
- 2001: Stephen D. Solender, President and CEO, United Jewish Communities
- 1999: Bernard Reisman, Founding Director, Benjamin S. Hornstein Program in Jewish Communal Service
- 1997: Ferne Katleman, Vice President and Director, Special Programs, Wexner Foundation
- 1996: Richard Joel, International Director of Hillel, President of the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
- 1995: Michael Schneider, Executive Vice President, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee