New Center to Focus on Advancement of Jewish Education

Gift from foundation will establish the Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership.

November 14, 2016

Louis and Manette Mayberg.

Louis and Manette Mayberg.

A gift from the Mayberg Foundation funded the creation of the new Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership, which will be housed in the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

The center will link academic scholarship with the work of Jewish organizations on GW’s campus, throughout Washington, D.C., and nationwide. It will provide graduate training, workshops and public programs in Jewish education with a focus on pedagogy and leadership training.

“Pressing questions revolve around the meanings of Jewish identity, the role of formal and informal communal organizations and the future of ‘Jewish literacy,’” said Michael Feuer, dean of GSEHD. “Establishing this center will build on GSEHD’s accomplishments in connecting scholarship, practice and community engagement.”

Erica Brown, associate professor of education and human development, was selected to direct the Mayberg Center and started at GW on Sept. 1. Dr. Brown will refine and implement the center’s mission to advance Jewish education both in terms of content and pedagogy.

She will design and teach courses on Jewish education and Jewish studies, build a research agenda and create opportunities for connecting Jewish education to GSEHD’s broader interests in multicultural, religious and pluralist education. Author of 11 books, Dr. Brown holds advanced degrees in education and Jewish studies and has held leadership positions in many Jewish nonprofit organizations.

Working in collaboration with the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education, which recently moved to GW, and GSEHD’s master’s program in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts, the Mayberg Center will enhance the academic and communal richness of Jewish education in the United States.

Louis Mayberg, B.B.A. ’83, created the Mayberg Foundation with his wife, Manette Mayberg.

"The academic rigor I experienced as a student at GW played an important role in my career and business success,” Mr. Mayberg said. “The university’s track record and reputation make it the perfect home for this new center, designed to advance our foundation’s mission.”

Mrs. Mayberg added, “The center brings an important new dimension to our foundation’s contribution to the Jewish future. It aligns important elements of our philanthropic priorities. We anticipate tangible results and we are proud to partner with Erica Brown and GW."

The gift from the Mayberg Foundation covers initial programmatic, academic and administrative expenses of the center at GW. It also seeds an endowment to support the center’s continuing operations.