Erik Ludwig Is the New Director of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at the Jack H. Skirball Campus of HUC-JIR

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Erik Ludwig is the new Director of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at the Jack H. Skirball Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles, effective July 13, 2015. 

The Zelikow School is the premier graduate school preparing nonprofit professionals today for leadership careers in the Jewish community.  It was named with a transformational gift from Marcie and Howard Zelikow, whose landmark support will enable the Zelikow School to grow in its ability to prepare future generations of skilled professionals to serve the institutions, agencies, and organizations of global Jewish life.

In announcing this important appointment, Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., HUC-JIR President, stated, “We look forward to Erik Ludwig’s vision and leadership as he advances the Zelikow School and expands its programs to reach individuals throughout North American and around the world through new and innovative means of hybrid courses.  As he deepens the relationship between the Jewish Nonprofit Management program with our Rabbinical, Cantorial, and Education programs and builds on our highly successful partnership with the University of Southern California, he will create a center that will lead in the study and implementation of Jewish Nonprofit Management.”  

Erik Ludwig brings to the Zelikow School and 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.  He 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. His executive experience spans the Jewish nonprofit field and has focused on developing Jewish startups and spearheading innovation within traditional institutions.

Ludwig 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 leadership positions within JCCs and Federation, from executive director to development director and program director.  

His academic studies focus on education, culture, and society, examining how ethnicity and identity operate in K-12 educational settings. He is completing his doctoral dissertation at the University of Utah, exploring how the “ethic of care” is performed in Jewish Schools. Ludwig received his M.A. from Humboldt State University and his B.S. from University of Utah.

About Ludwig's appointment, Skirball Campus Dean Joshua Holo expresses tremendous enthusiasm, saying "Erik Ludwig is first and foremost an innovator – both in his applied expertise and his academic thinking. Under his leadership, the Zelikow School is poised to lead the Jewish nonprofit evolution in the 21st century, both through the education of future professionals in all of our programs and campuses, and through thought leadership amongst current professionals in the field.”

Established in 1968 as the first program of its kind, the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (formerly the School of Jewish Communal Service) is part of the Jack H. Skirball Campus of HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, which brings together future rabbinical, Jewish education, and nonprofit management leaders to learn from each other and develop their professional networks.  The Zelikow School offers an array of program options. The two-year program  leading to a Masters in Jewish Nonprofit Management includes courses in Jewish Studies, Jewish Communal Dynamics, and Nonprofit Management; two years of supervised fieldwork internships; a capstone project, and a two-week Israel Seminar.  Also offered are joint degrees with the Rhea Hirsch School of Education and the Rabbinical School, and a graduate certificate, as well as four dual degrees with USC’s nationally ranked graduate schools: Masters of Public Administration (MPA) in the School of Planning, Policy and Development; Masters of Social Work (MSW) in the School of Social Work; Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in the Marshall School of Business; and Masters of Communication Management (MCMGT) in the Annenberg School of Communication. 

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.