As of May 1, the 2012-2013 Annual Alumni Campaign has
raised over $23,000 for student scholarships, and we are now two
thirds of the way to our goal! Please help us bring the best and the
brightest to the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management by making your
Stay Connected on Social Media
Facebook and Twitter
you on Facebook? Like our page to get updates on
what's happening on campus, be linked to interesting articles about
our field, learn about job opportunities and stay in touch with other
can also follow SJNM on Twitter at @sjnm_la... to experience Lunch and Learns and
other events in real time.
for an old friend or classmate? Just go to www.huc.edu/alumni/private. The directory is password-protected, but contact SJNMAlumni@huc.edu for
access. And don't forget to let us know if your own information
needs to be updated!
can explore online alumni resources and learning opportunities at the
SJNM Alumni Association Executive Committee
Alumni Council Representatives
Alumni Advisor Program
Anna Schwarz Shabtay
Rothpan (MAJCS/MSW '94)
Director of Alumni Engagement
excited to share with you what we've been working on over the past
few months! Stay tuned for our June edition, which will include
information about graduation and our upcoming Summer Session!
Message from the Chairs
(MAJCS/MPA '94), Chair, and Stephanie Bressler (MAJCS/MPA '09),
this year, the Leadership Team of the HUC-JIR School of Jewish
Nonprofit Management Alumni Association gathered in New York for
the second annual Leadership Retreat. Last year, as Chair Andi
Milens began her term, the retreat focused on identifying the
mission of the Alumni Association. This year, with a highly
successful year under our belts, the retreat focused on strategic
visioning and beginning to take concrete steps to further our reach
over the next five years.
retreat began with an informal gathering allowing team members from
across the country and a wide range of graduating classes to meet
one another in person. What a rare treat it was to meet those who
came before you and those who succeeded you; who together comprise
the soul of that brick building on University Avenue that we all
know so well! I think it can be unanimously agreed upon that for
the relatively small group of alumni that are lucky enough to be a
part of the SJNM/School of Jewish Communal Service, the dedication
to the field and to our collective mission is staggering.
two days together, brainstorming ways to harness this passion and
ensure that our School thrives for generations to come. With
incredible guests such as Rabbi David Ellenson and distinguished
alum Howard Charish, the group buzzed
with excitement about the coming year, and is looking forward to
implementing our ideas.
spoke throughout the retreat of the leadership metaphor of the
"balcony and they dance floor," and how to maximize the
amount of alumni on OUR dance floor- those who are engaged in SOME
way with our community. In order to do this, we hope to employ some
of the following strategies:
have a great fundraising leadership team in place, and we hope
to expand our leadership and work towards touching each
alumnus. Our goals is to build both the amount our campaign
will raise for student scholarships, as well as the number of
people who participate. To donate now, click here!
addition, we are asking alumni in major cities to serve as
"Regional Representatives." Our hope is that they
will be best positioned to connect with new alumni who move to
their city and engage alumni already living there by
coordinating social and professional gatherings.
plan to improve communication with alumni with brief monthly
email updates focusing on things that are most timely with
alumni, the School, and the College-Institute.
to thank our Leadership Team and all of our active alumni for
"dancing" with us. If you have any questions, or would
like to get more involved, please contact Jessica Ingram,
Coordinator of our Alumni Association, at SJNMAlumni@huc.edu
Foundation of New York
Recently, I travelled with the American Jewish Joint
Distribution Committee/JDC to Latvia for a look at
contemporary European Jewish life. Even before Thanksgiving,
the temperature in Riga hovers at 40-degrees, giving you a
sense of the arctic chill that will blow through the Baltics this
I mention the weather because it highlights a hardship
that many of the 14,000 Latvian Jews face on a daily
basis. JDC, the largest Jewish humanitarian organization in
the world, works in 70 countries, specializing in humanitarian aid,
Jewish community renewal and disaster relief. In Latvia, the focus
is on meeting the pressing needs (including winter relief) of the
elderly, impoverished and children at risk and supporting a
renaissance of Jewish life.
I have lived and travelled around the world with JDC
from Ukraine to Ethiopia to Haiti. You might be able to imagine the
type of poverty I saw in the developing world, but it came as a
shock to me in Latvia, part of the European Union, and slowly
recovering from 2008's economic collapse. One morning, I
visited a Jewish family in the worst living conditions I have ever
seen. A mother, father, and four children lived together in a
cramped 200 square-foot room with just two beds and chairs,
a table and an empty refrigerator. They shared a single
communal shower, toilet, and kitchen with 75 neighbors.
Afterwards, I spent the afternoon visiting Holocaust
survivors, bringing them care packages, and listening to their
stories. They couldn't have been happier to have guests and
welcomed us, a small group of young American Jews, in their
homes. Everyone wanted the same thing from us - to be
heard and not forgotten. Not that long ago, Latvian Jews were
killed because of their faith; today, they are being saved because
With all the demands of a family and hectic days at
work, I can't think of a better place than Riga to have spent my
vacation. Having worked as a Jewish communal professional for more
than a decade now, opportunities like this one are still the most
powerful and meaningful for me. They have changed my life.
Joy Sisisky, MAJCS/MPA '00 is the Executive Director
of the Jewish Women's Foundation of New York. Joy is also the
National (lay) Co-Chair of JDC Entwine Steering Committee, which
offers service experiences in Jewish communities around the world,
and a former JDC Ralph I. Goldman Fellow in International Jewish
Service. To learn more, go to www.jdcentwine.org.
Upcoming SJNM Events
1st Annual Reception honoring SJNM/SJCS Alumni and Honorary Degree
Recipient Deborah Burg-Schnirman
are thrilled to be honoring Deborah as she is awarded this
special honor. Currently the Early Childhood Education
Director at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center in San
Rafael, CA, Deborah has served the Jewish community with
distinction for the past 25 years. Her career has been spent
within the JCC system, working to foster a life-long love of
learning for children, parents and educators. She is
dedicated to helping families connect and find their place in
the Jewish community by bringing together diverse
constituencies and Jewish communal organizations.
HUC-JIR Los Angeles Graduation
Orientation and Retreat
Summer Classes begin
Scholar-in-Residence: Rabbi Joy Levitt, Executive Director, The JCC
Milestones and Mazel Tovs
Have you moved, changed jobs, been honored, gotten
engaged or married, or had children? Please share your personal and
professional milestones as they happen so that our SJNM community
can celebrate with you! Send your milestones to SJNMAlumni@huc.edu.
Cohen (MAJCS/MPA '08)
became engaged to American Jewish University Ziegler Rabbinical
Student Marc Kraus.
Melissa Cowen (MAJCS/MPA '10) got engaged on October 21, 2012 to Ellis Garai.
She also started a new job as the Development Officer at Upstart in
Suzanne Korkin Afergan (MAJCS/MSW '02) and her husband Mike welcomed their
second child last summer. Benjamin was born on 8/31/12 and big
sister Maya (who is almost 3½ ) is especially proud.
Deborah Berkowits Litwak (MAJCS/MAJE '94) and Rabbi Alan Litwak (NY1996) joyfully celebrated
the Bat Mitzvah of their middle daughter Naomi Gabrielle on
December 22, 2012, parshat Vayigash.
Lois Weinsaft (Lois Nagy Tadin, MAJCS & MSW '79) became the interim Executive Director at Jewish World
Watch in September 2012. That same month, the adoption of her
grandson, Aydin Wayne, was finalized, and Lois is a very happy Savta!
Gosia Szymanska Weiss (MAJCS/MPA '06) received a special award from the President of Poland
recently at the AJC Los Angeles Annual Meeting and Reception.
Rabbi Laurie Coskey (SJCS Certificate '83/CN '85) and daughter of our Los Angeles Overseer Rhea Coskey,
was recently recognized as one of the "13 Progressive Faith Leaders
to Watch in 2013," according to the Center for American
Jeff Bernhardt (MAJCS/MSW '94) published his first book with Blackbird Books. On
Sacred Ground: Jewish and Christian Clergy Reflect on
Transformative Passages of the Five Books of Moses includes
brief essays by a number of HUC-JIR/URJ affiliated rabbis including
Eric Yoffie, David Ellenson, Bill Cutter, Sally Priesand, and Anne
Brener. In addition, his new play "Therapy" had its world
premiere in North Hollywood, California last year. More information
can be found through Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eddie Bruckner (MAJCS/MPA '98) recently became Vice President of Financial
Resource Development at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.
The Jewish Alliance formed out of a merger between the Jewish
Federation, the Jewish Community Center, and the Bureau of Jewish
Randy Nathan, (MAJCS/MSW '94) was recently selected by Sprigeo (an online bully
app) as one of their Project Heroes on his bullying work
as founder and president of Project NextGen. In addition, his first
book, "Bullying in Sports: The Injuries We Don't See" is
being released this spring.
Rachel Sisk (MAJCS/MSW '93) was appointed adjunct faculty at SHEVET: The Jewish Family Education
Michelle Landau Brooks (MSW/MAJCS '95) recently joined the St. Louis chapter of the
American Parkinson Disease Association as Program
Coordinator/Fundraising Associate. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Julia Malkin (MAJCS/MPA '11) recently moved to New York to join the staff of
Jewish Federations of North America as the Associate Director of
National Young Leadership.
Lisa Cohen (MAJCS/MSW '97) now teaches art to Headstart and Special Ed students
at the Helene Grant School in New Haven, Connecticut.