The Lippman Kanfer Institute is an action-oriented think tank for innovation in Jewish learning and engagement. Its goal is to ensure that Jewish education remains relevant and effective in the challenging and rapidly changing environment of the 21st century. The Lippman Kanfer Institute brings new thinking to important issues and opportunities facing Jewish education, such as the limited and episodic nature of educational participation among many Jews; the need to build powerful synergies among multiple forms of education; and the untapped potential of technology, the arts, social action and other media for Jewish communication, self-expression and engagement.
The Institute maintains a vigorous connection with front-line practitioners and draws on and seeks to accelerate and enhance innovative work already underway that promises to dramatically extend Jewish education’s reach and impact. The Lippman Kanfer Institute pays special attention to learnings from beyond the field of Jewish education. The Lippman Kanfer Institute’s innovative ideas are brought to the field through conferences and convenings; presentations and community visits; print and online publications; and projects with educators and policy-makers working on the front lines.
The Lippman Kanfer Institute also works closely with JESNA's Berman Center for Applied Innovation to promote innovation and systemic change through active support for institutions and communities involved in educational transformation efforts.
The work of the Lippman Kanfer Institute is supported by the Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation, based in Akron, Ohio.
Lippman Kanfer Institute Staff
Jonathan Woocher, Ph.D.
Chief Ideas Officer
Director of the Lippman Kanfer Institute
Jonathan Woocher is JESNA’s Chief Ideas Officer and directs its Lippman Kanfer Institute: An Action-Oriented Think Tank for Innovation in Jewish Learning and Engagement. Jon served as JESNA’s chief professional officer for twenty years before assuming his new role in 2007. In addition to guiding the work of the Lippman Kanfer Institute, he is a member of the agency’s senior management, working with his colleagues on JESNA’s strategic direction, new project development, external relations, and financial resource development.
Prior to coming to JESNA in 1986, Jon was an Associate Professor in the Benjamin S. Hornstein Program in Jewish Communal Service at Brandeis University, where he taught courses in Jewish political studies and communal service and directed the program in Continuing Education for Jewish Leadership.
He received his BA from Yale University, summa cum laude, in Political Science and his MA and PhD from Temple University in Religious Studies. He has also studied at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
Yael Mendelson is a graduate student in the master's program in education and Jewish studies at NYU. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the certificate in experiential education program at Yeshiva University. Yael was a PresenTense Fellow and has taught at SAR Academy.
FOLLOW THE LIPPMAN KANFER INSTITUTE ON TWITTER: http://twitter.com/LKInstitute