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Jewish Life


“Because every tradition began as an innovation.”

5778 Fellows

Sam Blustin

The Jewish Theological Seminary of America

Sam Blustin is a third year Rabbinical Student at the Jewish Theological Seminary …

Kyle Savitch

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Kyle Savitch is a first year student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester …

Jonathan L. Posner

The Jewish Theological Seminary of America

Jonathan Posner hails from Chicago, and is in the middle of his rabbinical training at The Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan …

Sam Yolen

Academy for Jewish Religion

Sam Yolen is a senior rabbinical student expected to graduate Spring 2018 at the Academy for Jewish Religion …

Elli Cohn

The Jewish Theological Seminary of America

Elli Cohn is a 5th year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary …

Elyssa Cherney

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Elyssa Cherney is a rabbinical student studying at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College …

Preston "Pesach" Neimeiser

Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion

Preston Neimeiser, from Tallahassee, Florida, is a second year Rabbinical student student at HUC-JIR in New York, New York …

Elizabeth Shayne

Yeshivat Maharat

Elizabeth Shayne is a first year student at Yeshivat Maharat with a strong academic background in …

Thalia Halpert Rodis

Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion

Thalia Halpert Rodis is a third year rabbinic & education student at HUC-JIR …

Tobias Divack Moss

Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion

Tobias Divack Moss is a fourth-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion …

Daniel Kertzner

Academy for Jewish Religion

Daniel, a first year rabbinical student at the Academy for Jewish Religion, has an extensive background in philanthropy and the arts …

Nicole Berne

Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion

Nicole Berne is in her fifth and final year of rabbinical school at HUC-JIR …

Steven Goldstein

Academy for Jewish Religion

Steven Goldstein is a civil rights lawyer and professor who led the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect and Garden State Equality …

5778 Mentors

  • Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, Mishkan Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • Rabbi Dan Horwitz, The Well (Detroit, MI)
  • Rabbi Scott Perlo, 92nd Street Y (New York, NY)
  • Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, Central Synagogue (New York, NY)
  • Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, Valley Beit Midrash (Scottsdale, AZ)
  • Rabbi Elan Babchuck, CLAL (New York, NY)
  • Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue (Washington, D.C.)
  • Rabbi Steven Leder, Wilshire Boulevard Temple (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim (Montreal)
  • Rabbi Peter Berg, The Temple (Atlanta, GA)
  • Rabbi Sara Luria, Beloved (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Rabbi Billy Dreskin, Woodlands Community Temple (White Plains, NY)
  • Rabbi David Ingber, Romemu (New York, NY)

5778 Program

Please note that the program is subject to change from year to year. While some sessions may be repeated, we are always responding to feedback and new opportunities.

Session 1 | Introductory Meeting
Fellows sit down with Rabbi Brad Hirschfield and Rabbi Peter Rubinstein to assess the present state of the Jewish institutional world and their predictions for the future.

Session 2 | Innovation in the Synagogue
Fellows meet with Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann and Rabbi Peter Rubinstein to discuss the role innovation in the Synagogue plays in Jewish Life.

Session 3 | Innovation Outside the Synagogue
Fellows speak with Henry Timms and Asha Curran on how the 92nd Street Y uses innovation to foster a positive social impact through initiatives like #GivingTuesday, Ben Franklin Circles, and New Year Prayer.

Session 4 | Adaptive Leadership with UPSTART Labs
Fellows participate in a workshop run by UPSTART Labs, focused on the process of taking bold ideas and pushing them into real world innovative programs.

Session 5 | Design Thinking with David Dabscheck
Fellows engage in a design thinking workshop with David Dabscheck, founder and CEO of GIANT Innovation, an organization which transforms the way organizations and people think and act in order to become world-class innovators.

Session 6 | Collaboration and Creativity with Yaron Prywes, Ph.D.
Fellows do an interactive and fun training exercise utilizing their Neethling Brain Inventory (NBI) assessment to gain key insights into how they, their teams, and their supervisor prefer to make decisions and communicate.

Session 7 | Making Media Work for You in Your Leadership
Macky Alston of Auburn Seminary discusses strategies for amplifying your voice, reaching communities most effectively, and preparing for a crisis.

Session 8 | Branding with Archie Gottesman of Jewbelong
Fellows meet with Archie Gottesman, founder of Jewbelong, to discuss successful marketing techniques and personal and professional branding.

Session 9 | Siyum with Rabbi Peter Rubinstein