School of Jewish Nonprofit Management Launches New Name and Vision

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The School of Jewish Communal Service, established more than forty years ago by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), has changed its name to the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (SJNM), reflecting the dramatic changes in the nonprofit and Jewish communal world during the past decades.  The SJNM is unique in the academic world – it is the only graduate program of its kind that is embedded within a Jewish institution of higher learning, and it enjoys a special partnership with its neighbor, the University of Southern California, one of the major universities in the country.  Students at the SJNM receive a cutting-edge education in nonprofit management grounded in Jewish history and values, as well as the opportunity to earn one of five dual degrees at USC. Richard Siegel, Director of the SJNM, headed the strategic planning process that led to the revisioning of the SJNM’s mission and the revitalization of its recruitment, scholarship support, fundraising, and alumni relations activities.

Siegel explains, “Originally conceived as a graduate program preparing social work-oriented professionals to lead the social service agencies which once dominated the Jewish communal enterprise, the renamed SJNM manifests the new realities of American Jewish life, which has grown to encompass a broad array of organizations and enterprises, including social justice, community relations, Israel advocacy, culture, the arts, education, youth services, camping, and outreach, among others.  With this diversification and expansion, there has been a growing demand for professionals with the business skills and in-service experience needed to lead these increasingly sophisticated nonprofit organizations.  The SJNM’s new name catches up with its own forward-looking curriculum developed over the past decade, where students integrate a solid grounding in Jewish studies, a deep understanding of North American and world Jewish communal dynamics, and leadership skills in fundraising, board relations, strategic planning, organizational development, communications, and new media.”

The SJNM offers students a 2-year course of study leading to the Master’s in Jewish Nonprofit Management, including supervised fieldwork internships, an Israel seminar, a capstone project, learning opportunities with rabbinical and education students at HUC-JIR, and a unique relationship with the University of Southern California with five dual degree options including an MBA (with the Marshall School of Business), an MPA (with the School of Planning, Policy, and Development), an MSW (from the School of Social Work), an MCMGT (from the Annenberg School of Communication), and an MPAS (from the Roski School of the Arts).  The SJNM’s programs are guided by the values of excellence in educational and professional standards, community-building, integrated education, pluralism, change and innovation, lay-professional partnership, and the vocation of Jewish professional leadership as a “calling” to serve the Jewish people and advance the Jewish experience.

The announcement of the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management’s new name was made at a meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Governors on Monday, December 6, on the Los Angeles campus.

Click here for Richard Siegel's message about the new name for the SJNM.

Click here to visit the new School of Jewish Nonprofit Management website.


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