Milender Seminar

The Milender Seminar in Jewish Communal Leadership, was a biennial seminar that launched in 1975, provided an unusual opportunity for intensive engagement with outstanding Jewish professionals over several days of workshops, presentations and discussion.

In 2017, we held the last Milender Seminar with Rabbi Joy Levitt, Executive Director of JCC Manhattan as our Milender Fellow. The seminar opened Sunday, March 5 with a public panel discussion and dessert reception and concluded on Tuesday, March 7.

Panel Discussion: The Challenges of Leadership for the 21st Century Jewish Community

Sunday, March 5, 2017 — 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library, Brandeis University

Rabbi Joy Levitt, the Hornstein Program’s 2017 Milender Fellow, moderated a lively and important conversation with three outstanding community leaders on the challenges of Jewish leadership in the 21st century.


Moderator Rabbi Joy Levitt
Rabbi Joy Levitt

Rabbi Joy Levitt, 2017 Hornstein Program Milender Fellow, is the Executive Director of JCC Manhattan. Prior to her work at the JCC, she served as a congregational rabbi on Long Island and in New Jersey. She is the founder of the Jewish Journey Project, an initiative designed to revolutionize afternoon Jewish education for children, and the co-author of "A Night of Questions: a Passover Haggadah."


Rabbi William G. Hamilton
Rabbi William G. Hamilton

Rabbi William G. Hamilton has served as rabbi of Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline, Massachusetts since 1995. He is Chaplain of the Massachusetts State Police; a trustee of the Anti-Defamation League and The David Project; and the recipient of several leadership awards.

Rabbi Mark Sokoll
Rabbi Mark Sokoll

Rabbi Mark Sokoll is President and CEO of Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston. Since 1988 he has held several posts at the JCC including Director of Jewish Resources and Executive Director, after which in 2000, he became President and CEO. He is the recipient of several honorary awards, including the Hornstein Program’s Bernard Reisman Professional Excellence Award.

Rabbi Elaine Zecher, Temple Israel
Rabbi Elaine S. Zecher

Rabbi Elaine S. Zecher became Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston on July 1, 2016, having served the congregation since 1990. She is Vice President for Leadership of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and serves as the Chair of the Machzor Advisory Group. She is a graduate of Brandeis University.

Milender Fellows

2017: Rabbi Joy Levitt, Executive Director of JCC Manhattan

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