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Rutgers Hillel Rabbi Selected as Wexner Foundation Mentor

Rabbi Esther Reed, of Highland Park, has been named as one of the first mentors to serve in the inaugural Wexner Foundation Graduate Fellowship Mentoring Program.

Editor's note: The following information is a press release from Rutgers Hillel.

Rabbi Esther Reed, Rutgers University Hillel Senior Associate Director for Jewish Campus Life, has been named one of the first 20 Jewish leaders selected as mentors for the inaugural Wexner Foundation Graduate Fellowship Mentoring Program. 

According to Cindy Chazan, vice president of The Wexner Foundation, the program, to be launched February 20 following the Graduate Fellowship Alumni Institute in Princeton, will provide a “ robust training program to serve as a framework for continuing support and guidance of Wexner alumni, bolstered by content-rich, personalized learning.”  Twenty mentors and 20 mentees have been selected for this initial program.

Herself a Wexner Graduate Fellow, Rabbi Reed was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary and also holds an MA in Jewish Studies from that institution.  A resident of Highland Park, she was twice named the Arrigo O. Rogers Advisor of the Year at Rutgers and in 2007 received the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award from Hillel International.

Active in professional and religious affairs, Rabbi Reed serves on the Rabbinical Assembly International Executive Committee; its New Jersey Executive Committee, and its Task Force on Keruv, Conversion and Jewish Peoplehood.   At Rutgers, she is a member of the University’s Bias Prevention Education Committee and the Religious Life Association.

Rabbi Reed’s mentee for the inaugural Wexner Foundation program is Adina Allen, a rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Boston and is currently serving an internship at Tufts Hillel.

Funded in partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation, the new mentoring program will provide an opportunity for alumni to build their own capacities to be mentors, as well as engage in strategic growth as professionals in the field both as mentors and mentees and will deepen the skills and support gained through the Wexner alumni community.

The Wexner Foundation and the Wexner Heritage Foundation (now part of The Wexner Foundation) were established by Leslie Wexner in 1984. The Wexner Heritage program was designed to provide young North American Jewish volunteer leaders with a two-year intensive Jewish learning program, thus deepening their understanding of Jewish history, values, and texts while enriching their leadership skills. Approximately 2000 North American Jewish leaders from 31 cities have participated in the program.

In 1988, The Wexner Foundation introduced the Fellowship Program for outstanding rabbinical students and graduate students in Jewish education and Jewish communal service programs. The same year, the Foundation established a grants program for academic institutions of all types to build and improve training programs for Jewish community professionals. Eventually, the Fellowship Program was expanded to include top candidates for academic Jewish studies and the cantorate.

That same year the Wexner Israel Fellowship Program was established. Annually, up to 10 outstanding Israeli public officials are selected to study for a master's degree in the mid-career program of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. The goal of the fellowship is to provide Israel's next generation of public leaders with advanced leadership and public management training. More than 210 Israeli public officials have participated in the Israel Fellowship, including leaders who have gone on to become Directors General of government ministries; high-ranking military officers including several generals, and top advisors to Prime Ministers.

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