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Letter from the President Fall 2021

Letter from the President Fall 2021

Each academic year, Spertus identifies a programmatic theme.

Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, we focused on resilience. We introduced the notion of complex resilience: the ability to grow through challenge and uncertainty, rather than returning to the status quo.

Our work reinforced our belief that learning is a key component of resilience. In times of change, Spertus Institute’s signature high-impact Jewish learning is more important than ever, particularly as we apply it to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

But what will tomorrow look like? COVID-19 revealed vulnerabilities, both individual and societal. It challenged assumptions about our cultural, political, and societal structures. It compelled us to consider new ways of thinking and being.

As we return to some aspects of pre-pandemic life, at least in some ways and some places, we must seek ways to reimagine the future.

This year, reimagining is our theme.

Over the past year, we asked students to share what they’ve learned during the pandemic. What aspects of their lives were reinforced? What fostered transformation? What changes will they take with them into the future? This set of questions is precisely the focus of our program year ahead. How can we leverage what we’ve learned to reimagine what is possible—from scientific discoveries to deepened social connections to a more equitable world?

The past year forced us to stretch our imaginations, reassess, and rebuild. Please join me in this process of reimagining, to make our world better in ways we never imagined before.

Best wishes,






Dr. Dean P. Bell
President, CEO, and Professor of Jewish History
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership


Tuesday, October 12, 2021