Please support our work with a fiscal year-end gift. Thank you!

Alumni 2024 Gala Honorees Showcase Breadth and Depth of Hebrew College Community

By Adam Zemel
Event title art,

At our May Gala, “Branching Out, Blossoming Together,” Hebrew College will celebrate three honorees whose varied professional intersections with Hebrew College have strengthened our community and enriched Jewish life in Greater Boston and beyond. Each of them, in their own way, has helped build Hebrew College into the vibrant community it is today in 5784, and helped ensure our work will stay creative, meaningful, and accessible well into the future.

Jehuda-ReinharzJehuda Reinharz has been a fixture in the Jewish community of Greater Boston since joining the faculty of Brandeis University in 1982. He served as the university’s president from 1994-2010 before transitioning in 2011 into his current role as president and CEO of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. Jehuda is the author of numerous books and academic articles in various languages. His The Jew in the Modern World, co-edited with Paul Mendes-Flohr, is one of the most widely adopted college texts in modern Jewish history. His major biography of Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel, has just been published by Brandeis University Press. Over the years, Jehuda’s academic and institutional leadership experience have made him a uniquely effective advisor for Hebrew College. Moreover, with Jehuda’s leadership and vision, the Mandel Foundation awarded Hebrew College a challenge grant of $1 million early in our Capital Campaign. His early support helped galvanize our efforts, inspiring others to join, and we are thrilled to honor him as we celebrate the successful conclusion of the campaign and begin our next chapter.

adina-allenHonoree Rabbi Adina Allen was ordained at Hebrew College in 2014 and went on to found Jewish Studio Project, an organization which aims to “cultivate creativity as a Jewish practice for spiritual connection and social transformation.” Adina credits her time at Hebrew College with helping her bring her creative practice “into the beit midrash” and positioning her to launch JSP soon after her ordination in 2014. We are particularly proud to honor Adina just a month before the release of her book, The Place of All Possibility, which unpacks Jewish Studio Project’s pedagogical and spiritual foundations, while “reframing all of Torah as a guidebook to creativity.” Jewish Studio Project is expanding to Boston in the second half of 2024, when a programming partnership with JSP and Hebrew College will renew Adina’s connection with our community.

Daivd-HoffmanThe Treasurer of the Board of Hebrew College, honoree David Hoffman, discovered Hebrew College while attending a friend’s graduation ceremony, at a moment when he was ready to roll up his sleeves and make an impact on the Jewish community of Greater Boston. Recently retired, David hoped for an opportunity to use his professional expertise in strategic planning, organization transformation, and operational improvement. Over the past six years, David’s profound dedication to Hebrew College has helped to reshape our institution and secure our financial future. He has been involved in the oversight and betterment of the College’s strategic planning and operational activities. David’s expertise allowed him to steer a holistic review of Hebrew College’s mission and operation, breaking down silos and creating systems to allow our innovative, pluralistic community to move forward as one institution.

Rachel FishAt our gala, we will also celebrate Rachel Fish, PhD, winner of the Esther Award. Bestowed annually, the Esther Award celebrates the history of Jewish women’s leadership by recognizing a contemporary Jewish woman who honors the legacy of the biblical Esther, who used her voice to speak truth to power, saving the Jewish people from destruction. In addition to teaching in Hebrew College’s Adult Learning program, Rachel is the co-founder of Boundless, an organization at the forefront of combatting anti-semitism and reimagining Israel education for a new generation. Through a combination of research, education, and advocacy, Boundless is initiating and participating in necessary conversations about what Israel and Zionism education will look like and stand for in the 21st Century.

Jehuda, Adina, David, and Rachel have each made essential contributions to Hebrew College, and to building the world of wholeness we strive for together as a community. They are models for what we can achieve when we bring the best of ourselves to Jewish work, supporting and supported by a community rooted in gratitude, authenticity, and other pluralistic Jewish values. We hope you can join us to celebrate these honorees, and the hard work and success of the Hebrew College community, at our Gala on May 9. Tickets are available, along with tribute and sponsorship opportunities, on the gala event page.

recommended posts

Alumni Beacons of Hope: Our Interreligious S/Heroes – Rabbi Getzel Davis and Rabbi Jessica Lowenthal

Leviticus When Dropping Obligations is a Mitzvah

News Highlights 100% Placement for Our Rabbinical Class of 2024!