HUC-JIR School of Jewish Nonprofit Management Alumni Newsletter


July 2013

Av 5773


Campaign Update 


First of all, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all of the SJNM alumni that contributed time or money to making the 2012-2013 SJNM Alumni Scholarship Campaign a success! We raised almost $48,000 which is more than $10,000 dollars above and beyond the goal that we had originally set for this year.  We couldn't have done this without YOU!


The dollars raised will help fund two SJNM student scholarships for the coming year. It also helps our program stay competitive- we all know how expensive it is to get such a fabulous education! We are already gearing up for the 2013-2014 campaign and are always looking for alumni to get involved. Please contact Anna Shabtay if you are interested in helping with next year's campaign!


Thanks again to everyone!



Stay Connected on Social Media


Facebook and Twitter 

Are you on Facebook? Like our page to get updates on what's happening on campus, be linked to interesting articles about our field, learn about job opportunities and stay in touch with other alumni.  


You can also follow SJNM on Twitter at @sjnm_la to experience Lunch and Learns and other events in real time.


Alumni Directory   

Looking for an old friend or classmate? Just go to The directory is password-protected, but contact for access.  And don't forget to let us know if your own information needs to be updated!


Alumni E-Learning 

You can explore online alumni resources and learning opportunities at the HUC-JIR 

E-Learning site:  





SJNM Alumni Association Executive Committee  




Stephanie Bressler 



Vice Chair

Naomi Abelson



Past Chair

Andi Milens 



Alumni Council Representatives 

Shaina Wasserman (MAJCS/MAJE '06) and Naomi Abelson (MAJCS/MPA '07)    


Alumni Engagement Co-Chairs  

Jenna Fields (MAJNM/MSW '10) and Bailey London (MAJCS/MSW '07) 


Campaign Co-Chairs

Julia Malkin

(MAJNM/MPA '11) and Anna Shabtay (MAJCS/MPA '09)


Recruitment Co-Chairs 

Miriam Friedman (MAJCS/MPA '06) and Rachel Slaton (MAJNM/MPA '11)


Communications Chair

Missy Bell



Joy Wasserman

National Director of Alumni Engagement
Richard Siegel

SJNM Director
Mandi Richardson

SJNM Associate Director 

Jessica Ingram

Coordinator, Alumni Association


Thank you to everyone who served on the Alumni Association Leadership Team during this past year - your hard work and passion for our school and community is greatly appreciated! 

Dear Jessica,

We're excited to share with you what's going on in the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management! Read on for information on our new alumni and new students, upcoming events, and more!

Message from the Chair 

Stephanie Bressler, MAJCS/MCM '07


Dear Fellow Alumni,


As I begin my term as Chair of the SJNM Alumni Association, I want to first publicly thank Andi Milens for her incredible leadership. She, and her team, have breathed life and soul into the organization. It isn't necessary to list her individual accomplishments (if you are reading this, than you have witnessed them!), but suffice to say the HUC-JIR School of Jewish Nonprofit Management Alumni Association has become an invaluable partner to the School, and a force within the College-Institute.


I am honored to further the mission which Andi set forth, and to continue to work alongside her and the wonderful leadership team. Over the coming year, we are committed to growing the number of Alumni involved in our Alumni Association, and strengthening their connection to the School and the College-Institute.


This summer is already off to a great start for us! In case you haven't already logged on, we have begun live streaming Tuesday's Lunch and Learn series, allowing for weekly, real time, virtual professional development and engagement opportunities at the click of a button for our Alumni. We are working to build networks in cities throughout the country so that Alumni can get together to socialize, discuss successes and challenges in their professional lives, and generally enrich their experience. In order to connect our current students to the Alumni Association, each class now has an Ambassador to help guide them through their time at the College and introduce them to the community. Additionally, our fundraising efforts thus far have been monumentally successful, as you, our alumni, feel compelled to support the education you enjoyed, and ensure it is there for future Jewish professional leaders. This is just a short sampling of what we have been up to, hopefully whetting your appetite for an exciting year.


If you have any ideas, feedback, or would like to get involved in any way, please don't hesitate to give us a call, or send an email. You can contact me at or 401-529-1112 or Jessica Ingram at


Looking forward to building our Alumni Association together,





New Student Spotlight

Over the next few months, you'll find profiles of SJNM's newest students in this section. Enjoy getting to know our new class!








Name: Jeremy Ragent

2nd Degree: MPA

Hometown: San Mateo, CA

Undergraduate College/Degree: UCLA, History

Favorite Spot in LA (so far): Hiking in Topanga Canyon

Favorite Wacky Wednesday (so far): "It was wonderful hearing about the remarkable breadth of programs offered by NCJW to people in LA."

What Jewish experience/organization has led you to where you are today and why? "It's a tie between Hillel and Otzma. Hillel at UCLA was the locale of my first exploratory conversations about Judaism, and working at Hillel at Stanford was my first job! During my year in Israel on Otzma, I fledged my chutzpah wings."










Name: Mariela Socolovsky

Hometown: Haifa, Israel

Undergraduate College/Degree: University of Haifa, Education

Favorite Spot in LA (so far): the beach and farmer's market in Santa Monica

Favorite Wacky Wednesday (so far): Beit Tzedek, Hadassah, and Jewish World Watch

What Jewish experience/organization has led you to where you are today and why? As a Jewish educator as well as a Jewish professional, I have had beautiful opportunities to experience and to foster deep connections with Jewish values. This strong connection has guided me to make my passion into a life commitment. I sincerely believe that the answer to the big challenges that Judaism is facing today is passion and professionalism. So here I am, to renew my commitment, holding my passion and aspiring to professionalism.


Upcoming SJNM Events


Here's a look at what's coming up for the rest of the summer!


Lunch & Learn Series

This summer's "Lunch & Learn Encounter Seminar" will be focused on the topic: "Trends in (Jewish) Philanthropy." Cosponsored this year with Jumpstart, a dynamic LA-based nonprofit working to advance the "Jewish innovation ecosystem," the seminar will serve as a follow-up to Jumpstart's highly successful recent philanthropy summit: "Innovation to Transformation: Changing Jewish LA, Changing LA Jewishly."


The seminar has taken place every Tuesday from June 18th to July 30th from approximately 12:15-1:30 PST.  LA area alumni are invited to attend, but an RSVP is required since there is limited seating in order to maintain the integrity of a graduate seminar (email Mikaela Landis or call her at 213-765-2117). All alumni are invited to join us on our new Livestream account by clicking here. You can also find all of the previous sessions on the Livestream account! Our final session is:


July 30: "What Counts for Success? How Funders Evaluate Their Giving" Presenter: Rachel Levin, Executive Director, The Righteous Persons Foundation


August 5-6: Scholar-in-Residence: Rabbi Joy Levitt, Executive Director, The JCC in Manhattan


August 6: Culmination


Milestones and Mazel Tovs    

Have you moved, changed jobs, been honored, gotten engaged or married, or had children? Please share your personal and professional milestones as they happen so that our SJNM community can celebrate with you! Send your milestones to


Mazel Tov!


David Bubis (MAJCS/MSW '82)

and his wife are preparing to celebrate the marriage of their eldest child, Jonathan. He will marry Becca Farber on August 11th.  Jonathan will be entering his fifth and final year of the Ziegler Rabbinic program at AJU this fall, and Becca will continue her teaching responsibilities to high school students at the Torah V'Tarbut Day School in Orange County.


Laura (Siegel) Perpinyal (MAJCS/MAJE '09) and her husband Avi welcomed their son, Samuel Joel Perpinyal, to the world on July 5 at 5:22am. Sammy is their first child and weighed in at 7 lbs and 11 oz.


Iris (Rosenthal) Weinstein (MAJCS/MPA '02), her husband Greg and big sister Jasmine welcomed a new addition to the family on February 26th. Hazel Violet was born at 4:10am, weighing in at 6lbs 10oz and 21 inches long. In addition, Iris has been promoted to Senior Sales Executive at ISSA, the Worldwide Cleaning Association in Lincolnwood, IL.


Professional Milestones


Rebecca Garrison (MAJCS/MPA '06) is the new Director of Philanthropic Strategy at Jumpstart in LA, managing their funding initiatives, including fiscal sponsorship and giving collectives, as well as institutional advancement.


Mark Gurvis (MAJCS/MSW '84) will be joining the leadership of the Jewish Federations of North America in September as the executive vice president. In this capacity, he will be helping to support 154 Federations and more than 300 independent Network communities across the continent. Mark assumes this role after nearly 12 years as CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver.


Richard Meyer (MAJCS/MSW '79), is now working as an independent consultant specializing in organizational development (program design, management, evaluation and governance), strategic planning and fundraising. He took on this new role after stepping down from his post as Executive Vice President at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, where he served for 22 years and had spent an additional five years as the campaign director.


Alan Ronkin (MAJCS/MPA '91) will be joining the staff of the American Jewish Committee as their Washington, DC Regional Director later this summer. He will be moving, with his wife, from their longtime home of Boston, MA after the chagim.


Rachel Sisk  (MAJCS/MSW '93) is now the Director of Etzah, a new initiative through the Graduate Center for Education at the American Jewish University to advance and support innovation within part-time Jewish educational settings.


Rachel Slaton (MAJNM/MPA '11) was published in eJewish Philanthropy. Her article "How Is This Article Different from All Other Articles? can be found here.


Zichronam Livracha


Our heartfelt condolences are extended Jenna Fields (MAJNM/MSW '10) and her family upon the death of her grandfather. He passed away on Sunday, July 21, at the age of 92.


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