SJNM Alumni Association Leadership
From Andi Milens, Chair
I am so excited to be the new chair of the SJNM Alumni Association. The school had, and continues to have, a profound impact on me; I hope it does for you as well. As many of us are aware, the school has faced its share of challenges in recent years, and our alumni have come out in force to show their support. Now, more than ever, it is our time to give back -- in whatever way we can. I hope you will join me in supporting the school -- by getting engaged in our activities and, if you are able, by maintaining a financial commitment to the school.
I look forward to working with you and being in touch!
Andi (MAJCS/MPA ’95) currently serves as Vice President at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and has previously held various positions at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. She is originally from Overland Park, KS, but now lives in New York City.
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Will you be attending the upcoming Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly (November 6-8, Denver)? Lori Klein, our Associate Director, will be there representing the SJNM and HUC-JIR. Stop by our booth to talk with her, send prospective students to meet with her, and join her for an alumni reception (tbd). Or perhaps you’re headed to the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial (December 14-18, Washington DC) or a different conference this year… either way, let us know! SJNM alumni represent many different professional fields and participate in a wide variety of events. We want to create opportunities at these events for alumni to be able to come together, meet with SJNM faculty and staff who often attend or speak, and connect with other attendees who may be interested in learning more about the numerous academic programs we offer! If you’ll be heading to a conference or event (or even a visit to a college or camp) email us as SJNMAlumni@huc.edu and let us know!
Milestones and Mazal Tovs
Have you moved, changed jobs, been honored, gotten engaged or married, or had children? Please share your personal and professional milestones so our SJNM community can celebrate with you. Email SJNMAlumni@huc.edu.
Marriages and Anniversaries
Laura Siegel (MAJCS/MAJE ’09) married Avi Perpinayl on April 10, 2011 in her hometown of Chicago. The couple just returned to live there after spending the last two years in Johannesburg, S. Africa, where Avi is originally from.
Anna Shabtay (MAJCS/MPA ’09) and her husband Erez welcomed a baby boy, Eytan Yariv Shabtay, on February 15, 2011.
Andrea Fleekop, R.J.E. (MAJCS/MAJE ‘03) and her husband Rabbi Joel, along with big sister Yael welcomed Maya Sivan Fleekop to the world on May 21, 2011. Maya weighed 6 lbs. 8oz. and was 18.25” long.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your families at this time. May you and your families be comforted among the mourners of Zion, and may the memories of your loved ones be a blessing.
Abby Fleishman Leviss (MAJCS/MPA ’03) and her husband Ted suffered the loss of their son Max Leviss (z”l) on July 21, 2011.
Gosia Szymanska Weiss (MAJCS/MPA ’06), suffered the loss of her father, Jerzy Szymanski (z”l), on August 6. Gosia traveled to Poland to be with her family during this difficult time.
Lori Klein (MAJCS/MSW ‘91) has been promoted to Associate Director of the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management as of July. Richard Siegel, Director of the school, describes Klein as its “heart,” serving as the students' fieldwork supervisor and professional advisor.
Gwynneth Q. Russler (MAJCS/MAJE ’78) has been
serving as Executive Assistant to the Senior Rabbi at Temple Israel of New Rochelle since November 2010, while continuing her duties as an educator and Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor at neighboring Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, New York.
Anna Shabtay (MAJCS/MPA ’09) was promoted to Donor Relations Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Long Beach and West Orange County, CA.
Dr. Javier Simonovich (MAJCS/MSW ’85) was promoted to be Dean of Students at the Emek Yezreel Valley College, Israel as of September 1st.
Adynna Swarz (CJCS, MBA from UCLA ’09) was promoted to Director, Caring for Jews in Need at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Shaina Wasserman (MAJE/MAJCS ‘06) moved to NYC this summer to work as the Project Manager for Innovating Congregations at The Jewish Education Project.
Mary Baron, LCSW (MAJCS/MSW ‘94) who serves as the Program Manager of Special Clinical Services at
Tri-City Mental Health Center in Pomona, CA recently had her first novel, But This Is Different, published by Steel Cut Press. It has been well received and can be purchased at http://steelcutpress.com
Sarah Bassin (CJCS/Ordained ‘11) was featured as a civic leader in online magazine Splashlife’s series, "30 under 30" about young professional movers and shakers in various realms.
Michelle (Landau) Brooks (MSW/MAJCS ’97) was recently installed as the new President of JProStl, an association dedicated to supporting professionals working at Jewish organizations in St. Louis. To learn more, visit www.jewishinstlouis.org.
SJNM Alumni Association Executive Committee, 2011-2012
Chair: Andi Milens (MAJCS/MPA ‘95)
Immediate Past Chair: Esther Cohen (MAJCS/MPA ‘94)
Alumni Council Representatives: Alan Ronkin (MAJCS/MPA ‘91) and Lee Rosenfield (MAJCS/MPA ‘95)
Recruitment Chair: Alan Ronkin (MAJCS/MPA ‘91)
Campaign Co-Chairs: Daniel Blain (MAJCS/MSW ’89)
and Anna Schwarz Shabtay (MAJCS/MPA ’09)
Continuing Education Co-Chairs: Naomi Abelson (MAJCS/MPA ’07) and Marsha Rothpan (MAJCS/MSW ‘94)
Jessica Ingram, Coordinator, Alumni Association
Joy Wasserman, National Director of Alumni Engagement
Richard Siegel, SJNM Director
Lori Klein, SJNM Associate Director