Press Release – For Immediate Release
June 4, 2019
nathanmiller-ink.com (Nathan Miller) or Michellemiller-ink.com (Michelle Moreh)
Rabbi Sherre Hirsch Named American Jewish University’s Chief Innovation Officer
Nationally acclaimed Jewish scholar and innovator will develop new initiatives to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving Jewish community.
LOS ANGELES—Today, American Jewish University (AJU) announced the appointment of Rabbi Sherre Hirsch as its new Chief Innovation Officer.
Hirsch will join the storied Los Angeles-based institution tasked with a broad mandate to reimagine Jewish education, outreach and engagement by leveraging AJU’s wide-ranging platform, which includes two campuses, a nationally acclaimed rabbinical school, and a slate of community and public educational programs. She will also provide intellectual leadership for AJU’s Whizin Center for Continuing Education, which offers classes, lectures, author events, concerts and performances.
“We are thrilled to bring Rabbi Hirsch onto our senior leadership team to help drive AJU’s development of a new paradigm for education that meets the needs of our rapidly evolving community in Los Angeles and beyond,” said Dr. Jeffrey Herbst, President of American Jewish University. “At a time when people are increasingly searching for spirituality and educational options beyond traditional institutions, AJU is uniquely positioned to deliver a new model for programming that engages and enlightens communities locally, nationally, and globally – both inside and outside of the Jewish world. Rabbi Hirsch’s extraordinary experience, wisdom, and insight will be invaluable in developing this new model.”
Often described as a “soul entrepreneur,” Hirsch brings a unique combination of experience as a pulpit rabbi, a senior executive at national Jewish institutions, a published author, and a leading public intellectual who frequently provides commentary on issues of spirituality and religion in national media.
“I am honored to return to my alma mater, American Jewish University, as it charts an exciting new course to tackle the greatest challenges facing the Jewish community and the world,” said Rabbi Sherre Hirsch. “My career has been focused around cultivating disruptive innovation that can advance the great project of Jewish peoplehood. I look forward to continuing this work at AJU, where there is a unique opportunity to leverage Jewish innovation and values to empower Jews and non-Jews alike.”
Rabbi Hirsch made headlines as the first female rabbi at Sinai Temple, the largest Conservative congregation on the west coast. In her most recent role as Senior Rabbinic Scholar at Hillel International, Rabbi Hirsch created and developed Hillelwell, an initiative for Hillels worldwide to become the recognized address for preventative mental health. A thought leader on spirituality and religion, Rabbi Hirsch has appeared on the Today Show, ABC News, Extra, and PBS, among other outlets, and has been a contributor to Time.com, Oprah Magazine, the Jewish Journal, the Hollywood Journal, and more. She is the author of “Thresholds, How to Live Fearlessly and Regret Free” (featured in “Hot Type” in Vanity Fair), and “We Plan, God Laughs, What to do When Life Hits You Over the Head” (recognized on Amazon’s Top 100 List).
American Jewish University is a thriving center of Jewish resources and talent built upon the core values of Jewish Learning, Culture, Ethics, Leadership and Peoplehood. In 2007, the University of Judaism acquired the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, creating a landmark entity, from then on known as American Jewish University. This new organization now boasts two campuses, a single vision and a shared future. For more information, please visit www.aju.edu.
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Michelle Starkman, M.A., MBA
Director of Communications