Community Blog Presidental Transition
“The greatest leaders are those who are able to elicit and inspire the very best in others.” — Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
| 10 years | 1.1.2018 | $100,000
This is an exciting time for Hebrew College. We have grown and thrived over the last 10 years under the visionary leadership of President Daniel Lehmann, and now we are thrilled to welcome Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld as our incoming President.
“We warmly welcome our new President, recognized globally as a leader in pluralistic Jewish education, and passionate about Hebrew College and its mission,” said Andy Offit, Chair of the Hebrew College Board of Trustees. “We have made tremendous strides as an institution over the past several years under President Danny Lehmann’s capable leadership, and we are excited to build upon the momentum under Sharon’s presidency. I couldn’t be more confident that Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld is the right person to steward Hebrew College’s next chapter.”
Rabbi Cohen Anisfeld will assume full leadership responsibility beginning January 1, 2018. Rabbi Lehmann will be on sabbatical from January to June 2018, during which time he will be available to provide guidance and help ensure a smooth transition. We look forward to honoring President Lehmann at our Gala event this spring, and hope you will join us for that celebratory occasion.
Moments of leadership transition are full of tremendous opportunity, uncertainty, anticipation, possibility, and hope for any community and any institution—as well as for each of the individuals involved.
The first leadership transition described in the Torah is the passing of the mantle from Moses to Joshua. Looking toward the future, Moses asks God to appoint a successor to lead the congregation, and God selects Joshua, calling him “a person with the spirit in him.” What does it mean that Joshua had the spirit in him? One interpretation, suggested by generations of commentators, is that Joshua embodied the divine quality of being able “to walk with each person according to his or her own mind, his or her unique capacity.”
Joshua was able to see people in a way that allowed them to bring their particular gifts to the congregation of Israel. His spirit was an expansive spirit that recognized and made room for others; his leadership invited each and every person to become a partner in the process of building a just and holy community.
We live in a moment of historic upheaval and change, and such moments bring challenges —for our institutions, for the Jewish community as a whole, and for the wider world of which we are a part. But the human resources we need to address those challenges are endlessly abundant, if we cultivate the capacity to truly see them and draw them forth.
At Hebrew College, we are hopeful about the Jewish future. We rejoice in the enormous talent, creativity, and diversity that exists throughout our community, and we invite you to become partners with us in continuing to build and sustain this precious institution as a vital center of deep learning and inspired leadership.
As Rabbi Cohen Anisfeld assumes the presidency, we hope you will donate generously to this year’s Annual Campaign in support of the College and to welcome our new #1. With your gift, you will stand side-by-side with Sharon in shaping a vibrant future for Hebrew College.
Remember that between now and December 31, your contribution can help us maximize a challenge from a generous donor who has offered to match all gifts dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000.*
Todah raba. Thank you!
* Please consider a recurring monthly, quarterly, sustaining donation and including Hebrew College in your estate plan.