Lifelong learning is a hallowed Jewish tradition because it expands our knowledge, roots us and builds bonds. It makes our lives richer and our communities stronger.
Three local graduates of Spertus Institute’s Master of Arts program in Jewish Professional Studies embody this tradition, completing a creative leadership-building program designed to advance their careers and strengthen the organizations they serve.
Shelly Dresdner and Samantha Berinsky are co-workers at Temple Sinai, where Dresdner is associate executive director and Berinsky is senior manager of congregational and community engagement. Fellow graduate Valerie Chambers is a campus leader for Kennesaw State University Hillel, Hillels of Georgia.
“There’s someone in the program whose work addresses every kind of touchpoint of the Jewish world,” Berinsky said. “Hearing different perspectives and being able to understand you’re not alone, that is one of the core components I’m walking away with.”
Dresdner completed her MA JPS as part of an accelerated cohort specifically for Jewish communal executives. This 18-month-long part-time degree program draws executive-level students from organizations to learn to leverage opportunity, inspire excellence in staff and trustees and lead through times of change.
The graduation ceremony was held at Spertus Institute in downtown Chicago, Ill.
“It is wonderful to gather together for this special occasion, with guests joining us in person and tuning in from around the world,” said Spertus President and CEO Dr. Dean P. Bell as he opened the event. “Graduation provides an opportunity to celebrate graduates’ academic and professional achievements — and also to recognize the proud colleagues, fans, friends and loved ones who supported them along the way.”
Representing the graduates, student speaker Sarah Cohn of Hillel International said, “Each of us has experienced rich learning, rooted in Jewish wisdom and tradition. While the last few years have been difficult ones, we know we can lean on our traditions and one another. My Spertus experience far exceeded my expectations, offering me exceptional learning and a community of like-minded colleagues who are leveraging their education to light the way for others.”
“If you’re looking for a place to take you higher in the Jewish nonprofit world, Spertus is it,” Chambers concluded.
To learn about Spertus Institute graduate and certificate programs, visit spertus.edu or contact Assistant Director of Recruitment Amie Barrish at email@example.com.