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directorPhoto of Ellen SmithFrom the Director
Ellen Smith

Shavout begins this evening, commemorating the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai and celebrating the harvest of the first spring fruits. We are reminded--as we study and gather together, and celebrate the texts and their teachings that bind us to one another--that our meaning as a Jewish people is located in our sense of community, and how we take care of one another. 

That sense of community and caring has been abundantly evident in the past few weeks as the Hornstein community has joined so many others in expressing our love and support for Jonathan Sarna, chair of the Hornstein Program. Jonathan has asked me to thank all of you for your messages, your offers of help, your prayers and support for him and his family, and the simple blessing of your being present for him.

Jonathan joins me in wishing all of you a joyous Shavout, and thanking our truly special Hornstein community for living the teachings of Shavout each day in our work, in our lives, and for one another.

Chag Sameach,


(Please visit Carepages.com for updates on Jonathan's progress and to leave messages.)
jData logo
Findings on Day Schools and Community Size


What special challenges do day schools face in smaller Jewish communities? What unique role do these schools play in the life of the community and how does it differ from that in larger communities? Might these circumstances present special opportunities for Hornstein graduates seeking to make a lasting impact?


Amy L. Sales, Hornstein associate professor and associate director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis, discusses the results of her research on JData, an extensive project that gathers core data on Jewish education. [read more]

Photo of two students
Lauren Fredman '14 and David Manchester '15 examine soil at Shvil Hasalat agricultural area in the Negev
israelMyra Kraft Seminar in Israel
A powerful Hornstein tradition!

Learning about Israel is an essential component of the Hornstein curriculum. This year, from December 30 to January 8, twenty-two Hornstein first and second-year students traveled to Israel for 10 days. Rachel Fish, associate director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis, prepared the students beforehand and accompanied them on the trip. Students visited numerous organizations and had an opportunity to interact with leaders representing a wide array of viewpoints in Tel Aviv, the West Bank, Jerusalem and areas in the south. One of the highlights was their visit with Hornstein/NEJS alumnus, Zohar Raviv '00, international vice president of education for Birthright Israel International, who spoke about Education for Jewish Peoplehood - in Israel and the Diaspora.

In the words of one first-year student: "This trip was by far one of the most positive educational experiences I have ever had!" A second-year student stated: "Thank you Hornstein! Both trips have served to strengthen my complex relationship with Israel and I am very grateful for that!"
[read more]

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Hornstein group and guides in front of statue of Isaac Babel in Odessa
fsuStudents Visit Ukraine and Moldova
Contemporary Jewish life and history

For the last four years, Hornstein has partnered with the Brandeis Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry to offer second-year Hornstein students a unique opportunity to visit select Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union. This year, from February 16-23, six students, including a native of Ukraine, were joined by Hornstein professor, Mark Rosen, for an intensive study tour in Chishinau, Moldova and Odessa, Ukraine. Though the group was fortunate to leave before significant unrest broke out in the area, we continue to monitor events and wish our friends and colleagues safe passage through these trying times. [read more]

Yana Drozdovski '13, Dara Freedman Weiss '13, and Yana Tolmacheva '13 at presentation of student final projects, May 2014

Nearly 630 strong, Hornstein alumni are a powerful force in shaping the agenda for the 21st century Jewish community. Smart, passionate alumni are found in all spheres of Jewish communal life and continue to be sought after by potential employers. (See where the classes of 2009-2013 are now.)

Are you or someone you know looking for a new job opportunity? Does your organization have an opening? Check out our jobs page on the Hornstein website o
r join our Hornstein group on Linked-In.
Prof. Amy Sales, Adam Kolett '09, and Nir Buchler '11 at JFNA Development Professionals Institute, Palm Beach, FL, Feb. 2014
facultyHornstein Faculty Making an Impact
Publications, talks, awards and more

The Hornstein faculty are a unique group of academicians and practitioners brought together with one common goal: to train the next cadre of Jewish professional leaders. Some are primarily researchers, bringing the benefits of history and data analysis into the classroom; others are practitioners in the field, infusing real-life experience into their teaching and advising. All are in a position to significantly influence the Jewish community's deliberations on the pressing issues of the day through books, articles, research, public presentations and, most importantly, through teaching and advising. [read more]
Photo of three students smiling
Elisheva Massel '14, Levy Kerzhner '14, Larry Tobin '16

There's been a lot of concern lately about the dearth of replacements for a wave of baby boomers about to retire from leadership positions in Jewish communal organizations. (See Leadership Pipelines Initiative.) Hornstein is helping to fill this gap by training the next generation of leaders, but we need your help to get the word out!

Please let your friends and colleagues know about the tremendous opportunities Hornstein offers: two graduate degrees in 21 months, learning alongside a dynamic cohort of like-minded peers and faculty members, stimulating fieldwork, the vibrant Boston-area Jewish community, and two trips to Israel and one to the FSU! And, did you know that all applicants are considered for full and partial scholarships?

Consider sharing our Hornstein brochure and website with prospective students, or contact us directly at hornstein@brandeis.edu or 781-736-2990.
Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program
Brandeis University MS 037, Waltham, MA 02454
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"Be a 'boundary crosser,' someone who sees the 'larger picture,' and rises above parochial identifications to broader perspectives: ... beyond denominational or ideological loyalties to a concern for K'lal Yisrael."

- Bernie Reisman