The Future of Jewish Leadership
As we are buffeted daily by news of violence, cruelty, ignorance, and intolerance in our nation and around the world – I am grateful to be part of an institution where love of teaching and learning — love of Torah — is at our core, and where we strive to make our study an act of sacred service to a world in need of healing and hope.Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, President, Hebrew College
Hebrew College’s First Female President: Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld became President of Hebrew College in July 2018, after being appointed President-Elect in fall 2017. She is the College’s first female president and was officially inaugurated in October 2018. Previously, she served as Dean of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College from 2006-2017.
Rebecca Weintraub, Rabbinical Student
“Being in Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld’s presence is like a gift…the way she holds space, the way she listens, the way she’s open, the way she’s fun and caring. She’s brilliant and kind and doesn’t take herself too seriously in a way that is so inviting and open.”
Our alumni serve as guides and companions in communities all over the world. As the role of the rabbi, cantor, and rav-hazzan continues to expand well beyond the pulpit, our graduates are prepared to be:
- Spiritual leaders
- Executive Directors
- Pastoral counselors
- Educators and Heads of School
- Social activists
- Community organizers
Rabbi Dan Judson, Dean of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College
“Spiritual practice, study, and prayer are seen as an integral part of the search for social justice. Reflection and activism, compassion and courage, presence and purpose; all of these qualities and capacities must go hand in hand for rabbis who seek to address injustice and inspire meaningful change in our society and in our world.”
Where our Rabbis Serve
Rabbis Working in Pulpits
- 28% work in synagogues affiliated with the Reform movement
- 28% work in synagogues affiliated with the Conservative movement
- 28% work in Independent Synagogues
- 13% work in synagogues affiliated with the Reconstructing Judaism movement
- 2% work in synagogues affiliated with the Renewal movement
Alumni Deep Dive
President Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
The core mission of educating and inspiring Jewish learners and Jewish leaders to create a spiritually vibrant, pluralistic, purposeful Jewish community … is not going anywhere…It’s a really vibrant center of intellectual, spiritual, and communal engagement.
As Hebrew College nears its 100th year, it looks ahead to continuing to create opportunities for innovation marking the beginning of another century of excellence in Jewish learning and leadership.
Strategic Planning Implementation
In early December, President Anisfeld assembled a team of Board members, faculty and staff, Jewish community leaders, and individuals with relevant expertise to guide a College-wide strategic planning process. The group focused on identifying and articulating our core mission and distinctive strengths as an institution, and exploring opportunities for increased institutional efficiency, integration, and alignment; strategic innovation and investment; and strategic partnerships.
In August 2018, Hebrew College sold its Newton Centre campus, allowing it to become debt-free for the first time in more than 17 years.
Hebrew College has assembled a dedicated group of volunteers to help with the College’s search for a new home. Because there are several years before the need to move, based on the agreements of the building sale, the search is in its early stages. The committee is working with a pair of commercial real estate brokers with deep experience and expertise in the Boston markets, and is beginning to get a sense of the real estate landscape in the area. Expected completion of the Strategic Planning process in spring 2019 will help guide the real estate search and future real estate decisions.
Hebrew College is not alone in the sale of its real estate assets.
It certainly makes sense for all colleges to really take a look at their real estate assets and holdings and determine the highest and best use,” NAIOP Massachusetts CEO Tamara Small said. ”We’ve seen a number of colleges go down this road, even those that are strong financially.– BisNow.com, Feb 12, 2019
- Read more about the College’s strategic planning and real estate updates
- Read the Feb. 1, 2019 Boston Globe article about Hebrew College’s strategic plans
- Read bios of Strategic Planning Committee members
Strategic Planning Committee Members
- Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, President of Hebrew College
- Rabbi Dan Berman, Rab`10, Rabbi at Temple Reyim in Newton, MA
- Alan Crane, Entrepreneur & Partner at Polaris Partners
- Elisa Deener-Agus, Former Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston
- Susan Wolf Ditkoff, Partner and Co-head of Bridgespan’s Philanthropy Practice
- Jevin Eagle, Rabbinical student, Executive Director of Boston University Hillel, and former CEO of DAVIDsTEA
- Jack Eiferman, JD, Director of Goulston & Storrs
- Rabbi Jane Kanarek, PhD, Associate Professor of Rabbinics and Associate Dean of Academic Development and Advising at Hebrew College
- Professor Sara S. Lee, faculty member Director of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles
- Andy Offit, Chairman of the Board of Hebrew College and former portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments and Wellington Management
- Guy Sapirstein, PhD, applied (and licensed) clinical psychologist who specializes in personal and organizational resilience
- Alan Sherman, Vice President of Marketing & Devlopement at Hebrew College
- Sarah B. Sonnenfeld, leads operations for the North American People & Organization practice at Boston Consulting Group
We invite you to become a member of Hebrew College’s President’s Council.