Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management Dedicated at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles

Monday, February 9, 2015

Marcie and Howard Zelikow and Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D.

Thanks to a transformative gift from Marcie and Howard Zelikow, the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) held its naming and dedication on Sunday, February 8 at HUC-JIR’s Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles. The first Jewish communal service graduate program to be established in America forty-seven years ago, the Zelikow School continues to be the premier graduate school preparing nonprofit professionals today for leadership careers in the Jewish community. With this gift, it is now poised to broaden its impact, both geographically and across the range of Jewish professional fields. 

“We are enormously grateful to Howard and Marcie Zelikow for their extraordinary generosity in support of our renowned program preparing leaders for the nonprofit sector,” says Rabbi Aaron Panken, HUC-JIR President.  “With the Zelikows’ landmark support, the Zelikow School will grow in its ability to prepare future generations of skilled professionals to serve the institutions, agencies, and organizations of global Jewish life. We have a series of significant programs planned that will expand the influence of this program tremendously, helping reach young Jewish leaders around the world.” Read President Panken's remarks at the dedication > 

"I’m extremely optimistic about the future of organized Jewish life," stated Marcie Zelikow, immediate past Chair of the School’s Advisory Board and a member of HUC-JIR’s Board of Governors, at the School's dedication.  "Do I think our organizations and institutions will look the same as they have in the past? Absolutely not. I’m not even sure which ones will be here in another ten years. The nonprofit world is changing and changing fast. But here’s what I do know. Every year I have the opportunity to meet the SJNM students, I’m always blown away by how bright and dedicated they are.  By how much they want to make a difference in the world. They all have had many options and many opportunities in life, but this is the field they’ve chosen. How could I not be optimistic?" Read Marcie Zelikow's remarks at the dedication >

Howard Zelikow noted, "I've been an active Board member and manager in for-profit and non-profit organizations and have mentored many of them. I have seen how effective vision is in developing professionals to be the best they can be.  This School has been highly successful in preparing nonprofit professionals for the workforce. If you want to see the impact of our programs, look at the organizations around the country headed by our graduates. Going forward, I would like to see the future rabbis and future leaders in Jewish education on this campus benefit from this training. Whey they get to their pulpits and educational institutions, they find themselves CEO's of large nonprofit organizations. They need more. The Zelikow School can give them the skills to manage, fund raise, and be more effective with their boards, staffs, and laity in their highly visible positions. This school is a national and even international resource, where modern technology can enable many to partake in our programs. Our hope is that from this base, we can broaden our reach."

"I want to acknowledge the special role that Marcie and Howard Zelikow are playing in helping chart the course of the School going forward," stated Richard Siegel, who will retire as Director at the ZSJNM at the end of this academic year.  "Marcie has been, and is, a leader of the Advisory Council and a valued mentor for a number of our students, and for me.  Howard has been a personal friend and an avid supporter, of Marcie, particularly, and therefore, also of the School. Their gift is so significant because it not only allows us to continue educating the future leaders of the American Jewish community, but it will enable us to reach out beyond the borders of this campus to bring the perspectives and skill-sets taught here to students on all of the HUC-JIR campuses, as well as to Jewish professionals already working in the field.  There is much to look forward to, and we are deeply appreciative of Marcie and Howard’s leadership." Read Richard Siegel's remarks at the dedication >

Dr. Joshua Holo, Dean of the HUC-JIR Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, welcomed guests to the Dedication, stating, "We honor Marcie and Howard Zelikow for lending their good name — literally and metaphorically — to our School of Jewish Nonprofit Management. We celebrate not only the mitzvah of Jewish learning but also its adornment and advancement with the crown of a good name, and the promise of a golden future." Read Joshua Holo's remarks at the dedication >

"Seeing the Zelikow School become a reality is the culmination of my six years as Chair of the Western Region Board of Overseers.  Our heartfelt thanks go to Marcie and Howard Zelikow for their foresight and perseverance," noted Sue Neuman Hochberg, both a member of the Board of Governors and Chair of the Western Region Board of Overseers.

The $5 million Zelikow Endowment, along with their $1 million commitment for current operations, will provide core support for the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management, including its administration, faculty, student financial aid, technology enhancement, and more. 

The Zelikow School currently features a number of unique elements that contribute to its distinction as a world class educational institution. These include a diverse array of supervised internships at respected Jewish institutions across southern California; a dual-degree relationship with the superb graduate programs at the University of Southern California; an exciting lay-mentorship program that brings students into sustained contact with experienced Jewish lay leaders to benefit from their skills and insights; and a biennial Israel Seminar that offers students the opportunity to cultivate a more sophisticated understanding of Israeli society and build relationships with Israeli counterparts to foster stronger Israel engagement in the North American communities they will one day lead.

As the Zelikow School extends its reach beyond the HUC-JIR Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, where rabbinical and education students regularly take courses and pursue joint graduate degrees, plans are developing to offer cross campus and online learning, utilizing hybrid educational models to enable rabbinical, cantorial, and education students on HUC-JIR’s campuses in Cincinnati, New York, and Jerusalem, and alumni in diverse communities around the world, to study with the Zelikow School’s faculty.  This visionary gift will help pave the way to a brighter and more influential future for the ZSJNM, for HUC-JIR, and for the Jewish community as a whole. 

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu