The Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies is making new senior leadership appointments to enrich the organization and ensure that the Jerusalem-based organization continues developing programs of excellence for the Jewish world and Israel. The two appointments – Rabbi Matt Berkowitz as Vice President of The Schechter Institutes, Inc., and Rabbi Chaya Rowen Baker as Dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary – will be effective in July, 2023.
The Schechter Institutes, Inc. is happy to announce that Rabbi Matt Berkowitz has been appointed as Vice President of The Schechter Institutes, Inc., effective July 1, 2023.
Rabbi Berkowitz, an accomplished educator and artist, brings decades of experience in development to his new position. From 1999 to 2008, he served as JTS’s Senior Rabbinic Fellow based in NY and Florida; he was responsible for cultivating and expanding the donor base and teaching adult learning study groups throughout the United States. From 2009 until now, he served as Director of Israel Programs for JTS working closely with rabbinical and cantorial students; during these years in Israel, Matt continued to work closely with donors and to significantly enrich the Israel experience of JTS students.
At the same time, he is one of the founding partners of Kol HaOt studio project in Jerusalem’s Artist Lane — whose goal is to weave the arts deeply into Jewish learning. Rabbi Berkowitz is the author and illuminator of The Lovell Haggadah published by Schechter in 2008, which is widely used throughout the Jewish world.
Matt is a Wexner Graduate fellow alumnus and serves on the faculty of The Wexner Heritage Program.
He is married to Nadia Levene and the proud father of three children.
The Schechter Rabbinical Seminary (SRS) in Jerusalem is proud to announce that it has selected Rabbi Chaya Rowen Baker to serve as its new Dean, beginning July 1, 2023.
Rabbi Rowen Baker, ordained at Schechter in 2007, has been the rabbi of Congregation Ramot Zion in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood for the past 16 years, and for the past seven years has also served as Coordinator of Practical Rabbinics at SRS.
She will succeed Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch who has been the SRS Dean since 2015.
Rabbi Arie Hasit is being promoted to Associate Dean and will work alongside Rabbi Rowen Baker.
According to Ilana Laderman Mushkin, Chair of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary’s Board and of the Search Committee, “We chose Rabbi Chaya Rowen Baker due to her deep Torah knowledge, her exceptional spirituality and her inspired imagination. She is well experienced in community and public offices, as well as in directing and instructing rabbinical students in meaningful community work.”
“Rabbi Chaya will continue Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch’s excellent work leading the Beit Midrash and I thank Rabbi Avi for his many years of leadership in elevating SRS to new heights. Rabbi Chaya becomes Dean in a challenging time with many public and community issues confronting Israel and the Masorti Movement. I have no doubt that she will further advance the Beit Midrash as it continues training leadership and leaders to deal with these challenges.”
Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin, President, The Schechter Institutes, Inc. states, “We thank Rabbi Avi Novis- Deutsch for eight years of dedicated service to the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, and we wish him a very productive sabbatical.”
“We are thrilled that Rabbi Chaya Rowen Baker will be the next Dean of the SRS. She brings to the role 16 years of successful experience as a congregational rabbi at Ramot Zion, along with years of experience mentoring students during their internships. We wish her much success in her new role as Dean.”
Rabbi Rowen Baker wants to develop creative and smart leaders who will strengthen innovative and committed Judaism creating bonds and reaching a wide spectrum of Israel’s population.
Rowen Baker notes, “I see Torah study as combining serious scholarship with existential insight, inspiring a commitment to Halachah and to creative renewal. It is an honor for me step up and lead the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, an institution founded and led by my teachers and by members of my wonderful congregation. I look forward to building on Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch’s success and to furthering the Beit Midrash as a central and influential Masorti institution. We want to give Beit Midrash graduates the ability to build and strengthen vibrant Jewish life in Israel, one that is honest and committed, and integral to advancing pluralism in the diversity that is Israel.”
Rabbi Rowen Baker, married to Etai and mother of four, holds an MA with Distinction in Talmud and Jewish Thought from The Schechter Institute, and a BA in Jewish History and Archeology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a fellow at the Honey Foundation for Israel and a member of the Rabbinical Assembly Executive Council.