Nov 092013
 November 9, 2013

Jewish-Inst-&-InnovationsUsing Theory to Inform Practice, Using Success to Inform Practitioners

In recent decades, research on organizational innovation has usefully helped business leaders guide their firms through changing market conditions.  These lessons have helped companies survive the introduction of new technologies, navigate changing market environments, and rejuvenate old institutions into new markets. While consultants to nonprofits have encouraged community and philanthropic organizations to adopt these same lessons, very few have. This is especially true in the Jewish world, which remains dominated by institutions that have been criticized for pursuing costly strategies and out-of-date priorities. Nonetheless, there are some Jewish leaders and organizations that have injected dynamism into American Jewish life that follows the template of organizational innovation.

This conference is designed to highlight the achievements of some of these organizations, understand their experiences within a common theoretical understanding of institutional renewal, and synthesize lessons for other Jewish organizations and communities who seek to rejuvenate Jewish life through creative organizations and organizational strategies. Download conference flier (PDF).

This conference is organized by KIE Senior Fellow Barak Richman through Religions and Public Life at KIE and is co-sponsored by Duke Law School and Duke’s Center for Jewish Studies.

January 23-24
101 West Duke Building

Please RSVP to Wendy Lesesne and indicate which portions of the event you plan to attend no later than January 17th.


Rabbi Daniel Ain, 92Y and Clal, New York
Rabbi Sharon Brous, Ikar, Los Angeles, CA
Jordan Fruchtman, Moishe House, Encintas, CA
Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, Academy for Jewish Religion, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Daniel Greyber, Beth El Congregation, Durham, NC
Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, Mechon Hadar, New York
Daniel Libenson, Institute for the Next Jewish Future, Chicago
Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum, The Kavana Cooperative, Seattle
Rabbi Steven Sager, Sicha, Durham, NC
Barry Shrage, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Boston
Rabbi Batshir Torcio, Jewish Community Center, San Francisco



[Lunch available beginning at 11:30]

12:00pm Welcome
Noah Pickus, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University
Eric Meyers, Center for Jewish Studies, Duke University

12:15pm Introduction to Organizational Innovation and Theories of Institutional Change
Barak Richman, Duke Law School

12:45pm Innovative Congregations
Moderator: Mark Chaves (Sociology, Religion, Divinity, Duke University)
Sharon Brous, Ikar
Daniel Greyber, Beth El
Rachel Nussbaum, The Kavana Cooperative

2:15pm Coffee Break

2:30pm New Institutions and New Markets
Moderator: Sharon Belenzon (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University)
Dan Ain, 92Y & Clal
Jordan Fruchtman, Moishe House
Batshir Torcio, Jewish Community Center, San Francisco, CA

4:00pm Coffee Break

4:15pm Educating Professionals
Moderator: Devdutta Sangvai (Chief Medical Officer, Duke University Hospital System)
Mel Gottlieb, Academy for Jewish Religion, Los Angeles, CA
Elie Kaunfer, Mechon Hadar
Steven Sager, Sicha
Rabbi Julie Kozlow, Sicha

6:30pm Dinner



8:30am Encouraging Innovation (Please note earlier start time)
Moderator: Ed Hamburg (Advisory Partner, Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital)
Daniel Libenson, Institute for the Next Jewish Future
Barry Shrage, Combined Jewish Philanthropies

10:00am Closing Discussion, Next Steps
Barak Richman, Duke Law School

11:00am  Informal Discussions with Lunch