Faculty and Administration

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Rabbi Scott Aaron is the Community Scholar for the Agency for Jewish Learning for Greater Pittsburgh, where he specializes in formal and informal adult education. He earned his MA in Hebrew Literature and was ordained at HUC-JIR and has a law degree from the University of Toledo. Scott is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Philosophy through Loyola University of Chicago where his academic work focuses on the impact of experiential education on the Jewish identity of Emerging Adults. Scott has worked in Emerging Adult education through the Hillels at New York University, the Ohio State University, and the University of Chicago. He has also worked extensively in the camping and retreat field, and was the Director of Education for the Brandeis-Bardin Institute outside Los Angeles from 2001-2004.

Scott is the author of a number of published articles and stories including his well-known book, Jewish U: A Contemporary Guide for The Jewish College Student which is now in its second edition. Scott is adjunct faculty at Spertus College and the education schools of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Scott is also a professional mentor for the Spertus College Master of Arts Program in Jewish Professional Studies and the ICenter, and he consults nationwide on Jewish experiential education and professional development. He was recently named to the editorial board of the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education’s publication series on the theme of “Peoplehood in Practice.” He is married to the amazing and beautiful Rabbi Donni Aaron and they are blessed with three children, Meitav, Nitzan and Naor.

Rabbi Andrew Davids, who currently serves as Head of School of the Beit Rabban Day School in Manhattan, has been involved in Jewish organizational leadership and informal education for more than twenty years. Ordained in Israel at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Rabbi Davids also holds a Master of Public Administration degree with a focus in non-profit management and a B.A. in film and video. In the past, he has served as the Executive Director of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, a Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Youth Division, a resident and day camp director, and organizational management consultant. A frequent lecturer and writer on Israel and Diaspora relations, Jewish history and effective change management within organizational life, Rabbi Davids is recognized as a leading speaker and educator in the Jewish community and beyond. He lives in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. with his wife and three sons.

As Associate Director of BJE, Phil Liff-Grieff oversees the agency’s Center for Excellence in Complementary Education, Early Childhood and Parent Education, and Educational Engagement. Phil is on the adjunct faculty of the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, having taught courses for graduate students including Experiential Education, Diversity in the Jewish Classroom (for the DeLeT Program) and a new course on NonProfit Management in the Digital Age. He has been working extensively in the area of Web 2.0 and social media in education and in the world of nonprofits and has led workshops and webinars for teachers, Jewish community professionals and rabbis.

Prior to assuming his position at BJE, Phil was the founding Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, a community on the outskirts of Los Angeles. In that role, he oversaw the creation of a new central communal Jewish agency, focusing on community-building, fundraising and the programmatic activity of a spread-out suburban Jewish community.

Previously he served as the Director of the LA Federation’s Youth Department and Committee for Programs in Israel, working closely with the Los Angeles-based shlichim on promoting Israel and Israel experiences for teens. In the late 1970’s, he directed the Havurat Noar program of the (then) Bureau of Jewish Education (an informal educational program for 9th graders), was the Director of Informal Education at Herzl Schools and has worked in a variety of Jewish camps, schools and youth movements.

Phil holds a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles (now the American Jewish University) and a Bachelor's Degree in Jewish Studies from UCLA.  He lives in La Crescenta, California with his wife, Shirley. They have two grown children, Shira and Ari.

Dr. Betsy S. Stone is a psychologist at Betsy S. Stone, Ph.D. where she specializes in marital and individual adult counseling. She also currently serves as an adjunct professor at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Stone received a Doctorate in Psychology from Yale University. She has written a book entitled “Happily Ever After” that has been published by Random House.

Michael Zeldin, Professor of Jewish Education, has been appointed the Senior National Director of the Schools of Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Dr. Zeldin is Senior Editor of the Journal of Jewish Education, the premier academic and scholarly journal in the field of Jewish education. He is principal author and co-editor of Touching the Future: Mentoring and the Jewish Professional. His many publications include articles appearing in The Journal of Jewish Education, Religious Education, Studies in Jewish Education, The CCAR Journal, Reform Judaism, Agenda: Jewish Education and Compass. Dr. Zeldin’s most recent publications are a chapter on Reform Jewish day schools for the forthcoming Prager Handbook on Faith-Based Schools in the United States and the preface of the 2-volume International Handbook of Jewish Education. He has written teachers’ guides for Behrman House, KTAV and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, as well as several chapters in The Jewish Educational Leaders Handbook.  Dr. Zeldin is a member of the Editorial Board of the URJ Press, the Executive Committee of the Commission on Lifelong Jewish Learning of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Executive Committee of the Network for Research on Jewish Education, and the Executive Steering Committee of the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education.  Michael Zeldin is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. He received his M.A. in Hebrew Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.