Erik Ludwig - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Erik Ludwig, Ph.D.

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Director, Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management

HUC-JIR/Los Angeles

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Erik Ludwig, Ph.D., serves as Director of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at HUC-JIR's Skirball Campus in Los Angeles.

His executive experience spans the Jewish nonprofit field and has focused on developing Jewish startups and spearheading innovation within traditional institutions. As a researcher and practitioner, he brings to the College-Institute a broad range of expertise in the Jewish nonprofit ecosystem, philanthropy and fundraising, professional leadership development, and management and governance of Jewish organizations. Ludwig’s academic studies focus on education, culture, and society, examining how ethnicity and identity operate in K-12 educational settings. His current research project explores how the “ethic of care” is performed in Jewish Schools.

Ludwig comes to HUC-JIR from UpStart Bay Area, where he served as chief accelerator officer, responsible for providing some of the region’s most entrepreneurial Jewish leaders with organizational capacity-building and technical know-how aimed at making Jewish life accessible, relevant, and transformative. He began his career at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, where he founded Club 18 as a teen program manager, and he has since held executive leadership positions within JCCs and Federation. 

Ludwig earned his Ph.D. in Education, Culture and Society from the University of Utah in 2018. Erik’s research interests include race in education, caring teacher-student relationships, and the effect of school structure on academic achievement. His dissertation is titled Racially diverse students’ perceptions of caring teacher-student relationships in private Jewish schools. It focuses on the promotional qualities of affective teacher practices on supporting racially diverse students’ academic engagement and sense of belonging at school. He contends that radical empathy provides institutions with a unique opportunity to understand how organizational structures, often invisible to people in the organization itself, may operate as barriers to achieving their mission and vision. Ludwig received his M.A. from Humboldt State University and his B.S. from University of Utah.