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NJPS 2000-01 Volunteer and Professional Leadership Biographies
Volunteer Leadership

Berman, Mandell L.
Kaplan, Edward H.
Rieger, Howard, Ph.D.
Shapiro, Bernard J., Ph.D.

UJC and Other Professional Staff

Ament, Jonathon, Ph.D.
Bursztyn, Debora
Kotler-Berkowitz, Laurence, Ph.D.
Blass, Lorraine
Cohen, Steven M., Ph.D.

Volunteer Leadership

Berman, Mandell L.
Chair, NJPS
Co-chair, NJPS Trustees

Mandell L. Berman has served the Jewish community extensively and in numerous capacities. In addition to his current position as Chairman of the National Jewish Population Survey, from 1987 to 1990 he was President of the Council of Jewish Federations (CJF), which conducted the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey in conjunction with the Mandell L. Berman Institute-North American Jewish Data Bank at CUNY.  In 2000, CJF merged into United Jewish Communities, the organization sponsoring the 2000-01 National Jewish Population Survey.

He is also an Honorary Chairman of JESNA (Jewish Education Service of North America) and chair of its Berman Research and Evaluation Center.  In other Jewish communal roles, Mr. Berman was the first Chairman of the Skillman Foundation, the past President and Executive Committee Chair of Detroit Jewish Welfare Federation, and the President of United Hebrew Schools (1962-95). He is also a past Board Member of United Way.

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Kaplan, Edward H.
Co-chair, NJPS Trustees

Edward H. Kaplan has devoted his time and energy to the Jewish community on the local, national and international levels. In Washington, D.C., he is a leader in Jewish philanthropic activities. He has been general campaign chairman and president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, president of the United Jewish Endowment Fund and president of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington. He served on the Board of Directors of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and the Hebrew Academy of Greater Washington for many years. Currently he serves on the boards of many local organizations, including the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington and the Jewish Social Service Agency.

Mr. Kaplan was a national vice chairman of United Jewish Appeal, and a member of the board of directors of United Israel Appeal and of the Council of Jewish Federations. He served on the board of governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel. He is now a member of the board of directors of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Hillel International Board of Governors, the Board of Overseers of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. He currently serves as chair of the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America.

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Rieger, Howard, Ph.D.
Chair, NJPS Publications Advisory Committee

Howard Rieger joined United Jewish Communities as its CEO and President in September 2004.  He chaired the NJPS Publications Advisory Committee while president of the United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, where he had been the lead professional since 1981. His initiatives in Pittsburgh  included the Exodus campaign, a $15 million effort for resettling Jews from the former Soviet Union; improving services to Pittsburgh's Jewish senior community, resulting in the establishment of the Jewish Association on Aging; a worldwide Jewish communal training program that recruited and developed over 450 new professional leaders; and a recent restructuring of the federation itself.

A native of Chicago, he has made his career in the federation world, working for 11 years at the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland before joining the Pittsburgh federation. He has also taught at the State University of New York, at Carnegie Mellon's Graduate School of Urban & Public Affairs, and as a faculty member at the Council of Jewish Federations' Continuing Professional Education program.

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Shapiro, Bernard J., Ph.D.
Special Consultant on NJPS to United Jewish Communities

Bernard J. Shapiro is the first Ethics Commissioner of Canada. His mandate is to administer both the code of ethics for Members of Parliament and the ethics guidelines for public office holders.

Dr. Shapiro became the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University on 1 July 1994 and Principal and Vice-Chancellor Emeritus in January, 2003

He is past president of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education and of the Social Science Federation of Canada. He has also served on the executive committee of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and as Chairman of the governing board of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation in Paris. Currently, he is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Royal Military College, Co-chair of the Societe du Havre in Montreal and Vice-President of CJA Federation, also in Montreal.

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UJC and Other Professional Staff

Ament, Jonathon, Ph.D.

Jonathon Ament is currently Assistant Director, Research and Analysis, at United Jewish Communities.  He joined UJC in August 2002 as Senior Project Director in the Research Department, where he analyzed, published and presented findings from NJPS 2000-01. Prior to joining UJC he was Instructor in American Jewish Studies/Modern Jewish Sociology at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. He received an M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. He has managed and directed surveys of the undergraduate Jewish population at Brandeis University and conducted data analysis for the Hadassah Research Institute for Jewish Women.

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Bursztyn, Debora

Debora Bursztyn is Project Manager, Database Systems, at United Jewish Communities. Her principal responsibilities are preparing the NJPS 2000-01 electronic data files and performing statistical analyses of the NJPS 1990 and 2000-01 files. Before joining UJC and its predecessor, CJF, she worked extensively with the NJPS 1990 file at the North American Jewish Data Bank at the City University of New York Graduate Center.  She has a Master's degree in Computers and Information Science from Brooklyn College and has extensive experience with a wide variety of database packages.

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Kotler-Berkowitz, Laurence, Ph.D.

Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz is currently Director, Research and Analysis, at United Jewish Communities. Previously, he was NJPS Research Director at UJC, holding overall responsibility for the research aspects of the NJPS project and for analysis of NJPS data for UJC and the federation system. He joined UJC in October 2000 as Senior Project Director on NJPS. Prior to working at UJC, he held a post-doctoral fellowship in political science at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was a lecturer in political science at Haifa University. He earned an M.A. in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University, and an M.A. in Modern Jewish Society and Politics and a Ph.D. in political science from Brown University. He has published scholarly articles in leading political science, sociology and Jewish studies journals.

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Blass, Lorraine

Lorraine Blass was UJC's Senior Planner, and Project Manager for the National Jewish Population Survey 2000-01. She was responsible for fundraising, for the management of the release of findings and for dissemination and interpretation of the findings to federations, national organizations and the religious movements.

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Cohen, Steven M., Ph.D.
Senior Research Consultant on NJPS to United Jewish Communities

Steven M. Cohen, a sociologist of American Jewry, is Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at Hebrew Union College, New York. the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was a consultant to United Jewish Communities on the National Jewish Population Survey 2000-01.

Professor Cohen has written or edited a dozen books and scores of scholarly articles and reports on such issues as Jewish community, Jewish identity, and Jewish education. With Arnold Eisen, he has recently written a book on American Jewish identity entitled, The Jew Within: Self, Family and Community in America. He is also the co-author with Charles Liebman of Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experiences, as well as Cosmopolitans and Parochials: Modern Orthodox Jews in America, with Samuel Heilman. His earlier books include American Modernity & Jewish Identity, and American Assimilation or Jewish Revival?  He has edited scholarly volumes on national variations in Jewish identity; historical diversity in the Jewish family; Jewish settlement and mobility patterns; and the conduct of Jewish populations studies.

Professor Cohen is currently Director of the Florence G. Heller – JCCA Research Center, Senior Research Consultant to the United Jewish Israel Appeal of Great Britain, and Chair of the research unit of the Jewish Agency's Department of Jewish Education in Jerusalem. Before moving to Israel in 1992, he was a professor of sociology at Queens College in New York, and held visiting professorships at Brandeis University, Yale University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary.  In Israel, he was a Professor at the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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