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News Highlights Looking To the Future: Hebrew College Welcomes Four New Trustees

By Joshua Polanski

Great leadership strengthens institutions. And when that leadership brings a combination of spiritual, educational, financial and investment expertise, philanthropy, and deep knowledge of Jewish community, extraordinary things can happen. Hebrew College is grateful to be in this position with the addition of Rabbi Avi Killip HCRS `14, Rabbi Steven Lewis HCRS `11, Suzanne Priebatsch, and Laure Garnick to our Board of Trustees—where their collective expertise, new ideas, and insights will propel the College into our second century educating Jewish leaders and invigorate the College’s mission to reimagine Jewish learning and leadership for an interconnected world.

“Hebrew College is blessed with an extraordinarily dedicated Board of Trustees, leaders who have helped shepherd the institution through significant growth and change over the last five years. Now, under the inspiring leadership of our new board chair, Nancy Kaplan Belsky, we are thrilled to welcome these four trustees —Avi, Steven, Suzanne, and Laure—who share a common commitment to the core values of the College, while bringing an impressive and diverse array of skills, experiences, and talents to our sacred work,” said President Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld. “I am grateful and honored to work with each of them, and excited for the ways in which they will continue to push us, help us grow, and expand our reach, both locally and nationally.”

Both Killip and Lewis are Hebrew College graduates eager to give back to the institution that shaped them. “One of the most uniquely and continually rewarding gifts of my time at Hebrew College was the impact the school had on my prayer life,” said Killip, whose time at the College, she says, changed her life. “At Hebrew College I learned to pray in ways that were more joyful, more rooted, and more inspiring and I have carried that gift with me into my rabbinate and personal spiritual life.”

Rabbi Avi Killip

Killip is the Executive Vice President at Hadar and holds a master’s degree from Brandeis University. She was also a Wexner Graduate Fellow and a Schusterman Fellow. “I am honored to be joining the board of Hebrew College. I believe that the school has a unique and invaluable role to play in training the next generation of leaders and rabbis, and I am excited to be part of ensuring the strength and vibrancy of the organization as a whole and the rabbinical school in particular,” she added.

Lewis brings both his Hebrew College ordination student experience and his time as a pulpit rabbi to the new role.

Rabbi Steven Lewis
Rabbi Steven Lewis

“As we think about how to prepare our students to serve Jewish communities, I expect that perspective will be useful,” said Lewis, who was ordained by the College in 2011. Lewis is the rabbi at Temple Ahavat Achim in Gloucester, MA and holds degrees from Brown University and the University of California, Berkeley. “My goal, and that of the leadership, is to find a niche where I can be most useful and productive. I suspect that my role will have something to do with the tremendous potential of the shared campus as the partners begin to realize the synergies and opportunities.”

Suzanne Priebatsch
Suzanne Priebatsch

Priebatsch first became part of the Hebrew College community when her children Daniella Priebatsch Place and Seth Place attended Prozdor and has stayed involved ever since. “What is so exciting about the direction of Hebrew College is the energy and vision of Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld and Nancy Belsky and the leadership team of Hebrew College,” she said.

Priebatsch is the Executive Director of Morgan Stanley and is a Senior Investment Management Consultant. She also serves on the boards of our partnering organization the Jewish Arts Collaborative, as well as Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI), the Boston branches of the American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, and Birthright Israel. Additionally, she is an Honorary Trustee of the Children’s Museum of Boston.

Priebatsch hopes to bring to her new role “various connections within the community to become more aware of and involved with the programs and opportunities for engaging with Hebrew College.”

Laure Garnick

Garnick spent a career in corporate banking with Scotiabank, CIBC, and Sanwa Bank before leaving the banking world to raise her children. Since then, she has devoted much of her time volunteering in the Boston community and is currently on JFNA’s National Women’s Philanthropy Board. Garnick is a graduate of Hebrew College Me’ah & Ikarim programs. She has been involved in several learning circles over the past eight years—and is immensely grateful for the learning and the community building that Hebrew College has provided. “Hebrew College is a hidden gem in our community. I’m hoping to get the word out about the wonderful things that the College is doing—the incredible programming available and the high quality of the faculty—and to find ways to further engage and grow the community,” said Garnick.

As the College continues to settle into the new campus, our new trustees have creative and bold ideas for what our future might hold. “Hebrew College Rabbinical School has infused the Jewish world with rabbis who are passionate, creative, devoted, and understand the value and depth of our tradition. I am excited to watch the school continue to evolve and grow, and to watch the graduates and alumni serve a world that is ever thirstier for spiritual leadership,” said Killip.

Hebrew College is delighted to include Killip, Lewis, Priebatsch, and Garnick in our next chapter, and the new board members are equally eager to join us on our journey. “I’m excited about a new beginning in Hebrew College’s new home; the forward thinking and collaborative leadership; the power of community building in learning; being a part of this vibrant place that promotes Jewish education; helping in the launch of the next generation of rabbis and Jewish educators—that will sustain a Jewish future,” added Garnick.

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