Barry Shrage of Combined Jewish Philanthropies to join Hornstein program

March 23, 2018

Barry Shrage, the president of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) of Greater Boston, has been appointed the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program’s professor of the practice, according to an announcement from President Ron Liebowitz on Wednesday, March 21. Shrage is stepping down as CJP president to join the program.

Shrage has served as the president of CJP since 1987. The Boston Globe reported his plans to step down on March 23, 2017. Shrage has a master’s degree in social work from Boston University and in 2017 was awarded an honorary degree by Brandeis University.

After announcing the degree last April, Liebowitz commented on his work.

“[Shrage] has built a Jewish community here, through the philanthropic work of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, which is unusual in how porous it is, how open it is to all denominations of Judaism but also the non-Jewish world, as well,” he told The Brandeis Hoot in April.

In his role at Hornstein, Shrage is expected to train and mentor students as future Jewish professional leaders. He will also develop a new program—the Initiative for Jewish Identity (IJI)—which will “draw on Brandeis’ deep strength in the study of Jewish life to develop innovative programming for teaching and engaging members of the Jewish community,” according to a press release, IJI will be housed within the Cohen Center for Modern Judaic Studies (CMJS)/Steinhardt Social Research Institute (SSRI).

The Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program is a dual-degree, graduate program where students can earn a Master of Arts (MA) in Jewish Professional Leadership and one of three second degrees: a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Non-Profit Management, a Master of Public Policy (MPP) or an MA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. The program opened in 1969 through a collaboration between Leon A. Jick, the Lown Center for Contemporary Judaic studies’ first director, Bernard Reisman, who directed the Hornstein program for 30 years and Benjamin Hornstein, who funded the program.

Shrage aims to ”strengthen ties … between the Jewish community and Brandeis, and between Brandeis and Israel,” and work to “harness the university’s remarkable Jewish studies resources for the betterment of Jewish life locally, nationally and globally,” according to a press release.

Shrage commented on his appointment in a BrandeisNOW article, stating, “As President Liebowitz reasserts Brandeis’ role as a global center of scholarship on Judaism, it is an honor to accept this faculty appointment and to join with others in advancing Brandeis as a pre-eminent intellectual center for the Jewish people and the world.”

At CJP, an umbrella group for many Jewish organizations in the greater Boston area, Shrage is credited with inspiring donations of over $55 million to the CJP’s 2015 Annual Campaign, according to the CJP’s website. He is an active advocate for Israel Birthright Programs and helped establish Boston’s sister city in Israel. He has also worked to create several programs at the CJP regarding Jewish education and parenting, according to the CJP’s website.

CJP is honoring Shrage with a ceremony called, “Honoring our Past, Shaping Our Future” with the subheading of “A Day to Celebrate Barry Shrage” on April 29. Shrage will make an appearance and the CJP will celebrate his 30 years at the non-profit organization and his contributions in Boston and in Israel, according the event’s webpage.

Liebowitz welcomed Shrage to Brandeis, saying, “Barry is a transformational leader. What he achieved at CJP over 30 years is stunning. Not only did he raise $1 billion, he also championed the next generation of Jewish leaders; he promoted innovation and exchanges; and he helped to reinvigorate and lead one of the most important Jewish communities in America.”

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