JULY 13, 2017 – NEWTON CENTRE – Rabbi Daniel L. Lehmann has announced that he plans to step down from his position as president during the next academic year.
As president for nearly a decade, Rabbi Lehmann has led Hebrew College to become a premier center of pluralistic Jewish education, focusing on the intersection of rigorous intellectual exploration, spiritual creativity, and communal transformation. As a national leader in Jewish education and religious leadership, Hebrew College supports creative programs and partnerships locally and establishes academic programs that inspire and cultivate leaders across the Jewish world.
“After nine extraordinary and deeply fulfilling years at Hebrew College, I have decided it is the right time, both personally and institutionally, for a change. It has been a distinct privilege and blessing to lead this venerable institution and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a vibrant and committed community of learning,” Lehmann said in a statement. “Teaching current and future Jewish educators, rabbis and cantors, as well as teens and adults, has been a great source of joy to me.”
According to the college, Lehmann will take a sabbatical for part of the next academic year, during which he will be writing on pluralism and Jewish education as well as assisting in a smooth transition to new leadership.
A search committee will identify the college’s next president, and focus on leadership, vision and long-term sustainability in its selection process, engaging key stakeholders including board members, funders and partners, local and national advisors, and current faculty, students and alumni.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank Rabbi Daniel Lehmann for his extraordinary leadership as President of Hebrew College,” said Andrew Offit, the newly-elected chairman of the board for Hebrew College.
Rabbi Lehmann arrived at the college in 2008 and helped institute programs that addressed the needs of an evolving Jewish world – including online graduate degrees in Jewish Education and Jewish Studies, an intensive three-year cantorial ordination program, and positioning the college as a pioneer in interfaith and interreligious programs.
He managed to enhance Hebrew College’s financial stability, and strengthen its relationships with funders, community leaders, and partner organizations, as well as forge new partnerships with other Boston-area institutions of higher learning, including Northeastern University, Lesley University, and most recently, the Boston University School of Theology. During his tenure, Hebrew College became the first non-Christian member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of nine graduate schools of theology. He strengthened relationships with local and national organizations and, in partnership with Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Hebrew College’s Me’ah program blossomed into a variety of initiatives designed to serve a broader range of Jewish adults. In addition, the College’s teen programs are shaping the future of Jewish leadership and philanthropy and building strong ties to Jewish life and lifelong learning.
Further expanding Hebrew College’s reach, Rabbi Lehmann emphasized and nurtured its relationship with Israel, broadening partnerships and collaborations with institutions in Israel, and spearheading the formulation of the college’s Israel Statement.