About the author: Dr. Hal M. Lewis is a recognized authority on Jewish leadership. A seasoned Jewish communal professional who has held executive positions in an array of organizational settings, Lewis is a passionate advocate for adult Jewish learning. He currently serves as the Dean of Public Programming at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago. Prior to that, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Columbus (OH) Jewish Federation. He holds a Doctorate in Jewish Studies from Spertus College, an MA from the University of South Florida, and a BA from Columbia University.
2004 0-7734-6448-4 This work offers a critical and incisive look into Jewish communal leadership from the biblical period to the present. It provides the reader – both scholar and practitioner – with a probing analysis of a previously unexplored area of study. Lewis provides a thoughtful assessment of Jewish leadership paradigms as they have emerged across a variety of historically and geographically diverse settings. He identifies and analyzes the dominant themes and trends associated with models of Jewish communal leadership, highlighting continuities and discontinuities in their development and evolution.
The work provides a unique context in which to understand and evaluate the current realities of leadership in today’s Jewish communities. Lewis offers a penetrating perspective on the impact which modernity’s radical changes have had upon communal leaders, from rabbis to philanthropists. Further, he proposes a model for twenty-first century communal leaders which seeks to provide a prescription for communal vitality by recapturing the authenticity of the past.
A seasoned communal leader himself, Lewis combines impeccable scholarship with an insider’s understanding. The result is an unusually insightful look into the intricacies of leadership in the Jewish community.
This impressive work has been identified and recognized as a resource material pertinent to the field of Jewish communal service by Shared Learning, a quarterly publication of the School of Jewish Communal Service, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles campus. In fact, Dr. Lewis' book is the very first one to be selected by Shared Learning for their recommended list of resource materials on Jewish leadership.