Milender Seminar

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
7:30–9 p.m.
International Lounge, Usdan Student Center
Brandeis University

Panelist Bios

Rabbi Sharon Brous
Rabbi Sharon Brous

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, Dean of Hebrew College Rabbinical School
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

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.

Rabbi Baruch HaLevi
Rabbi Baruch Halevi
Rabbi Baruch Halevi, aka “Rabbi B,” received his doctoral degree in ministry with an emphasis in Jewish spirituality from the The Graduate Theological Foundation of Oxford University. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, and after five years in Los Angeles, California and four years in Des Moines, Iowa, HaLevi moved to Swampscott, Massachusetts in 2006 to begin his tenure at Congregation Shirat Hayam (CSH). With co-author Ellen Frankel, he documented his journey with CSH and their success in reviving the congregation in the acclaimed book “Revolution of Jewish Spirit: How to Revive Ruakh in Your Spiritual Life, Transform Your Synagogue and Inspire Your Jewish Community” (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2012). HaLevi's forthcoming book “Spark Seekers: Mourning with Meaning; Living with Light,” will be available Spring 2015. In July 2015 HaLevi and his family will be making aliyah (permanently moving to Israel) where he will be launching Rabbi B Initiatives, LLC, consisting of a variety of services including pastoral counseling, grief guidance, motivational speaking, Israel business advocacy and much more.
Rabbi Dan Judson, Director of Professional Development and Placement
Rabbi Dan Judson
Rabbi Dan Judson is the director of professional development and placement at the Hebrew College Rabbinical School. He is also a doctoral candidate in Jewish history at Brandeis University where he researches the history of synagogues and money; and he is on the national faculty of the Union of Reform Judaism where he consults with synagogues across the country on financial issues. Judson's most recent research on synagogues which have eliminated dues, commissioned by UJA-Federation of NY, was featured in the New York Times in February.


Dr. Amy Sales
Dr. Amy Sales

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.

The Milender Seminar in 2013 from left: Hornstein faculty David Mersky, benefactors Sumner Milender, Edie Michaelson and Director of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University, Daniel Terris.

The Milender Seminar in 2013 from left: Hornstein faculty David Mersky, benefactors Sumner Milender, Edie Michaelson and Director of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University, Daniel Terris.

Milender Fellows