The Legacy Fund Advisory Committee is a group of volunteers and donors to the Legacy Fund that work annually in providing guidance to the Brandeis community on issues related to social justice, promoting the legacy of Louis D. Brandeis, and supporting the Legacy Fund’s grant making process. Members of the committee assist in fundraising and reviewing grant requests and outcome reports. The current committee roster is below.
Jules Bernstein is a Washington, D.C.-based labor lawyer who has advocated for workers’ rights for more than a half-century. He has represented several of the country’s largest labor unions. In 1970, he served as union counsel when 250,000 U.S Postal Service workers went on strike. As a result, they obtained substantial wage increases, the right to collective bargaining and the first of many subsequent negotiated labor contracts. In the 1980s, he sued the Postal Service after discovering that postal employees were not being properly compensated on the job and were not being paid for work performed at home. Following years of litigation, 500,000 postal workers won retroactive wages and damages. While counsel to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, he helped organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. He and his wife, Linda Lipsett, operate a “mom and pop” labor law firm, where they specialize in Fair Labor Standards Act litigation. He serves on the board of directors of Interfaith Worker Justice and the National Employment Law Project. At Brandeis, he is a member of the Board of Overseers at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and the Board of the National Center for Jewish Film. In 2006, he established the Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice. He received the Brandeis Alumni Achievement Award in 2007. Bernstein earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and his LL.M. in labor law from the New York University Law School.
Shaina Gilbert is an educator in the Boston Public Schools where she teaches English as a Second Language to Haitian Students. In 2009, Shaina launched Empowering Through Education (ETE) Camp, a free academic, leadership camp that seeks to prepare the most vulnerable youth living in Hinche, Haiti to become the future social justice leaders of Haiti. The camp began with 43 youth participants and after 10 consecutive summers in operation, ETE Camp is a non-profit organization that serves over 250 youth living in the community. Shaina started ETE Camp with funding from the Legacy Fund through the Hiatt Career Center’s World of Work Internship Program. Shaina received her bachelor’s degrees in Public Health and Sociology from Brandeis University and her Master’s in Education from Boston University.
Elena Lewis is the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Heller School for Social Policy & Management at Brandeis Universeity. A visionary leader who has been part of the Brandeis community for over 18 years, Elena brings with her extensive expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion; program management; and student retention. Prior to her role at Heller, Elena served as the director for the TRIO Student Support Services Program in Academic Services. Elena also served as an inaugural ombuds in the Brandeis Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from 2016-2021 in response to student demands in Ford Hall 2015. She has extensive experience in conflict resolution, having received training from the International Ombuds Association. She has served on the Student Learning and Living Task Force and co-chaired the Academic Advising Working Group in the office of the Provost. Elena earned her master’s degree in sociology at Brandeis, where she conducted research on the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She has traveled across the country researching systemic inequity, racism, and racial reconciliation. She has presented at national conferences on the first-generation college student experience. She is active in New England faith-based nonprofit organizations mentoring and training people in spiritual formation. Elena has received DEI certification training from the Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Walt Mossberg is a veteran technologist columnist, commentator, reviewer and conference producer. From 1991 through 2013, Mossberg was the principal technology columnist at the Wall Street Journal, where he was widely credited with pioneering the modern, consumer-focused, technology review and commentary. He also co-founded AllThingsD, Recode and the D and Code Conferences. He co-created and co-hosted a popular podcast, Ctrl-Walt-Delete. In 1999, Mossberg became the first technology writer to receive the Loeb award for Commentary. In 2001, he won the World Technology Award for Media and Journalism and received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Rhode Island. In 2017, he was awarded the Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award. Mossberg is a board member for the non-profit, nonpartisan News Literacy Project. Mossberg is a former trustee of Brandeis University, and a recipient of the Alumni Achievement Awards from Brandeis University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Edith Mossberg ’69, an early childhood educator.
Ajai Scott is an undergraduate alumna from Brandeis and a dual degree holder from the Heller School with an MA in Sustainable International Development and an MBA in Non Profit Management. Ajai is currently a Senior Consultant at FSG helping organizations reimagine their approach to social change in order to create a more equitable world. While at Heller, Ajai served as a participant in the Task Forces and Working Groups for President Liebowitz' Framework for the Future. She also served as the Program Manager for Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Heller, was the president and founder of the Brandeis Black Graduate Student Association. As an undergrad, was the Treasurer of the Brandeis Black Student Organization, an Intercultural Center Representative, and member of the Women of Color Alliance. She was the Vice Chair of the Finance Board of the Student Union, and a student leadership board member of the Student Support Services Program (SSSP).
Dr. Nancy Shapiro is the associate vice chancellor for education and outreach at the University System of Maryland (USM). Her work focuses on the education pipeline from kindergarten through college (P-20), including teacher preparation policy and creative ways of reaching state college attainment goals. Her expertise includes higher education policy, college readiness, teacher education, STEM education policy, and undergraduate and professional learning communities. As the USM director of school-university partnerships, Dr. Shapiro works with 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland, two-year colleges, and K–12 schools to foster critical partnerships and learning communities to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Maryland. She has authored numerous books and articles on creating and sustaining learning communities and P-20 partnership work. Most recently, Dr. Shapiro is leading the $3 Million U.S. Department of Education First in the World Maryland Mathematics Reform Initiative which will reduce remediation in mathematics and introduce a new higher education statistics curriculum for students in select majors in Maryland. Dr. Shapiro graduated Phi Beta Kappa, BA in history from Brandeis University, and earned her MAT from the University of Delaware, and PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland. In 2004, she was awarded the Brandeis University Alumni Association Harry S. Levitan Education Prize. She lives in Maryland with her husband, Ira Shapiro ’69, an author and expert in U.S. trade policy.