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Wexner Field Fellowship Selects Dr. Keren E. Fraiman

Wexner Field Fellowship Selects Dr. Keren E. Fraiman

Wexner Field Fellowship selects Dr. Keren E. Fraiman for one of 15 spots in prestigious leadership program 

Dr. Keren E. Fraiman, Spertus Institute’s Dean and Chief Academic Officer, has been selected for the prestigious Wexner Field Fellowship, presented by the Ohio-based Wexner Foundation in partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation, based in San Francisco.

Class 4 of the Wexner Field Fellows was announced on January 7, 2020. Dr. Fraiman is one of fifteen professionals selected through a highly competitive process that looks at accomplishments, motivation, and engagement, as well as the attributes candidates bring to their cohort and the Jewish community.

“We faced the tremendous challenge of selecting from a deep and talented pool of candidates,” said Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson, President of The Wexner Foundation. “I am excited about the ways in which these professionals will contribute to the Wexner Field Fellowship and, more importantly, to the Jewish organizations they lead.”

Throughout the three-year-long leadership program, Wexner Field Fellows will be exposed to a range of Jewish educational and professional growth opportunities. They will learn with accomplished educators and receive one-on-one professional coaching as well as access to customized professional development opportunities. They will develop new strengths in adaptive leadership, storytelling, and negotiation, along with a nuanced appreciation for the diversity of the North American Jewish community.

About Dr. Fraiman’s selection, Spertus President and CEO Dr. Dean P. Bell said, “Keren has both a keen intellect and the ability to relate on a practical level to our full range of constituents and colleagues. She is a remarkable scholar, who has done important academic work in Israel Studies and conflict education. As an educator, she thoughtfully challenges students with mastery of her subject matter taught in a learning environment that fosters critical thought and discussion. An outstanding strategist, Keren has advanced the Spertus Institute’s academic work with significant improvements in systems and processes, spurring a growth in enrollment and the expansion of core programs.”

Dr. Fraiman has served in her current role at Spertus Institute since 2018. Her research focuses on Israel and conflict education, adding the complexities associated with teaching about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Jewish educational settings. Prior to accepting her position at Spertus, she was the Director of Research and Evaluation at the iCenter where she continues to serve on the faculty of the Masters Concentration in Israel Education. She was a Schusterman Israel Scholar, worked at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University, has led trips to Israel for Birthright and other organizations, and served as an officer in the IDF. She received her PhD in International Relations and Security Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her BA in Political Science and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago.

As with the first three cohorts of the Wexner Field Fellows, Class 4 is comprised of dynamic Jewish professionals at pivotal moments in their careers. Fellows work in Jewish federations, summer camps, advocacy and social justice organizations, day and supplementary schools, national organizations and local institutions across North America. The fifteen Fellows comprising this cohort are: Ari Brickman, Senior Philanthropic Officer, Key Relationships for The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, North Bethesda, MD; Yehuda Chanales, Director of Educational Advancement for the Fuchs Mizrachi School, Beachwood, OH; Keren Fraiman, Dean and Chief Academic Officer for the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, Chicago, IL; Rachael Fried, Executive Director for JQY (Jewish Queer Youth), New York, NY; Gavi Geller, Executive Director for the Jewish Community Relations Bureau, AJC, Overland Park, KS; Addie Klein, Director of Community Engagement for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; Stephanie Levin, Chief Engagement and Innovation Officer for the Peninsula Jewish Community Center, Foster City, CA; Evan Majzner, VP, Development and Strategic Initiatives for itrek, New York, NY; Janu Mendel, Executive Director for Repair the World, Miami, FL; Harry Pell, Associate Head of School for The Leffell School, Hartsdale, NY; Hillel Rapp, Director of Education for Bnei Akiva Schools, Toronto, ON; Lani Santo, Executive Director for Footsteps, New York, NY; Yaffi Scheinberg, Executive Director and Head of School for Kayla's Children Centre, Toronto, ON; Matt Weintraub, Executive Director for Valley Beth Shalom, Encino, CA; and Ari Weiss, Executive Director for Cornell Hillel, Ithaca, NY. 

Led by Leslie and Abigail Wexner, The Wexner Foundation focuses on the development of Jewish professional and volunteer leaders in North America, public leaders in Israel and Jewish teenagers in Columbus. With a respect for the diversity of Jewish life, cohort-based learning and the development of a network of leaders, The Wexner Foundation has never wavered from its focus on Jewish leadership excellence. 

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs—including films, exhibitions, speakers, seminars, workshops, and concerts—take place at the Institute's Michigan Avenue facility, in the Chicago suburbs, and online.

Spertus Institute is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Photo at left

Dr. Keren E. Fraiman, photo by Joe Mazza | Brave Lux.