Dr. Steven Windmueller Appointed Interim Director of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management, Succeeding Dr. Erik Ludwig

Dr. Steven Windmueller

Dr. Steven Windmueller, Professor Emeritus of Jewish Communal Studies at HUC-JIR’s Jack H. Skirball Campus, has been appointed Interim Director of HUC-JIR’s Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (Zschool), effective March 21, 2022. Dr. Windmueller succeeds Dr. Erik Ludwig, who is the newly appointed President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Orange County.

President Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., stated, “Dr. Steven Windmueller brings a wealth of experience and expertise in leading our Jewish nonprofit management program, and offers a deep understanding of the trends that are shaping Jewish communal life in North America. His vision will further strengthen the Zschool’s preparation of professional leaders needed to ensure a thriving Jewish future.”

Dr. Steven Windmueller previously served for ten years as Director of HUC-JIR’s School of Jewish Communal Service (prior to its renaming as the Zschool) and as Dean of the Skirball Campus (2006-2010). The author of four books and numerous articles, Professor Windmueller holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. His research has been primarily focused on Jewish communal trends, anti-Semitism, Jewish political behavior, and, during the pandemic, the impact of the Coronavirus on the American Jewish community. Dr. Windmueller edited a volume for USC’s Casden Institute on Donald Trump’s Impact on American Jews, released in December of 2021. Dr. Windmueller serves on a number of boards, including serving as a Fellow of the Jerusalem Institute of Public Affairs and as a Board Member of the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State, Los Angeles. For the past seven years, he has served on the faculty of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, teaching across the globe. He is married to Dr. Michelle Pearlman Windmueller.
Dr. Erik Ludwig

Dr. Erik Ludwig

During his nearly seven years of leadership of the Zschool, Dr. Erik Ludwig transformed and enriched the school’s programs, recruitment, and engagement with the larger Jewish public sphere. Dr. Ludwig leaves a legacy of successes, which he credits to his teammates, Mandi Richardson, Associate Director, Student Affairs & Professional Development; and Melissa Garai, Associate Director of Development and Community Relationships. Most notably, the Zschool’s enrollment tripled during Dr. Ludwig’s tenure, thanks to a redesigned Master of Arts in Jewish Nonprofit Management and a new Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Innovation. With these offerings, the Zschool has attracted students at both the beginning and the middle of their careers, hailing from both Southern California and around the globe. In close partnership with Marcie and Howard Zelikow, and the Friends of Zschool, he marshalled lay and professional relationships to advance the mission of the Zschool, thereby preparing professionals to lead the business of Jewish life. Dr. Ludwig came to HUC-JIR in the summer of 2015 from UpStart Bay Area, having already established himself as a ground-breaking and entrepreneurial leader of the regional Jewish community.

Dr. Joshua Holo, Dean of HUC-JIR’s Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, stated, “We will miss Dr. Ludwig’s leadership and partnership. We wish our friend, colleague, and teacher fulfillment and success as he goes on to apply his creativity, energy, and commitment to Jewish life in Orange County. We look forward to ongoing partnership with the Federation, so that the Zschool’s education and training can continue to be inflected with Dr. Ludwig’s expertise, dedication, and vision.”