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Presentation of the American Hebrew Academy

Date of event: 30.03.2015 Beginning: 19:30
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The American Hebrew Academy is the only Jewish pluralistic college preparatory boarding school in the United States. It has served students from around the world since its opening in 2001 and was founded to provide an educational experience unlike any before ever created which permits teenagers from across the spectrum of Jewish life to live and learn together in a safe environment dedicated to nurturing high academic achievement, Jewish identity and leadership. The Academy has successfully enrolled students from 26 states in the U.S. and 18 countries including Russia and the former Soviet Union. Current enrollment stands at 150 students and we seek to grow the student body up to 400 students. We travel continuously across the United States and around the world to recruit students and our attention is now focused on Russia and the former Soviet Union. Our goal is to raise knowledge and awareness of the Academy as a viable educational option for Jewish Russian speaking families.


Our ten year experience working with Russian speaking students has provided us with a level of expertise in the Jewish community that is unique and cannot be found anywhere else. Our Russian speaking students come from homes in Russia and the former Soviet Union, native born students whose Russian speaking families have immigrated to the United States, American born Russian speakers of immigrant families and Russian speaking students of families now living in Israel.


For many years, we have been aware of Russian speaking families primarily living in Moscow and St. Petersburg who have chosen to send their children to English speaking boarding schools in England and Switzerland. While these schools are well known for their academic programs they are void of any Jewish education or Jewish life. At the American Hebrew Academy we believe we can provide such families and their children with excellence in academic, artistic and athletic programs as well as a pluralistic based Jewish education which will instill their children with knowledge of Jewish history and culture, pride in their Jewish heritage and most importantly, a strong desire for Jewish identity, continuity and future positions of leadership.


With the assistance of the Genesis Philanthropy Group we are committed to visiting Russian speaking Jewish communities in Russia and the FSU to inform them about the American Hebrew Academy. Our goal is to meet both affluent families who are able to afford an Academy education as well as families who would be in need of financial assistance for their child to attend the Academy. In the next year we seek to offer enrollment to ten students from Russia and the FSU who would begin their studies at the Academy in August, 2011. Thereafter, the program can grow to serve even more students as demand increases.


Given the strong relationship that already exists between both GPG and the American Hebrew Academy with Brandeis University, we anticipate the growth of Russian speaking students coming to the American Hebrew Academy, graduating and then continuing their studies at Brandeis where we send numerous students each year.


The American Hebrew Academy senior leadership team which includes Leeor Sabbah, Board Chair and Glenn Drew, Executive Director together with Academy Russian speaking staff members stand ready to travel to Russia and the FSU to launch this initiative in early 2011.  In partnership with GPG, we believe offering opportunities for Russian speaking Jewish students to study at the American Hebrew Academy will be a life changing transformative experience which will contribute to the continuity of Jewish life and the Jewish people. Some brief information about some of our noted board members is shown below.



Chico Sabbah z”l 1929 – 2006

Leeor Sabbah, Chair  New York, New York
With Bachelor and Master's degrees in Education and Communication, Leeor Sabbah's life has come full circle to the American Hebrew Academy, where her skills as an educator, communicator and marketing and development consultant merge with a passion for our heritage, a love of Israel, care and commitment to our students. As the daughter of the Academy's founders, Ms. Sabbah's chairing of the board continues the leadership and passion brought to the Academy by her parents.

Glenn Drew, Executive Director  Greensboro, North Carolina
Glenn A. Drew presently serves as Executive Director and General Counsel at the American Hebrew Academy. Mr. Drew is a founding member of the Academy’s Board of Trustees and has been the principal most responsible for the development, construction and operation of the Academy since it’s opening in 2001. Mr. Drew is the nephew of Chico Sabbah, the Academy’s founder and served as Mr. Sabbah’s counsel and principal advisor on all Academy matters prior to his passing in 2006.

Mr. Drew has practiced law for twenty five years and advises corporate clients on international business matters and high net worth philanthropically minded individuals and families on asset management issues. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland, a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Miami and is the recipient of an American Jurisprudence Award for his work in the area of Property law.

Joel Fleishman  Durham, North Carolina
Joel Fleishman has been a professor of law and public policy studies at Duke University since 1971. Fleishman became chairman of the Capital Campaign for the Arts & Sciences and Engineering in 1982, which succeeded in raising more than $200 million in endowment. He was appointed vice president of the university in 1985, senior vice president of the university in 1988, and first senior vice president of the university in 1991. In September of 1993, Fleishman became president of The Atlantic Philanthropic Service Co. Inc. in New York City, a position he held until January 2001.
Fleishman’s scholarly work reflects his long-standing interest in ethics, public policy and not-for-profit organizations which has recently culminated in his first book, The Foundation, The Great American Secret, How Private Wealth Is Changing The World. Mr. Fleishman holds many distinct honors which include Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Urban Institute, Trustee of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Chairman of the Visiting Committee of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; member of the Board of Directors of Boston Scientific Corp., the Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. and the James River Insurance Group; member of the Board of Trustees of All Kinds of Minds.



Jehuda Reinharz, Ph.D.  Waltham, Massachusetts
Jehuda Reinharz, Ph.D., has been the President of Brandeis University since 1994. He holds bachelor degrees from Columbia University School of General Studies and a B.R.E from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He earned his master's degree in medieval Jewish history from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in modern Jewish history from Brandeis University. Dr. Reinharz was the first professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he created the interdisciplinary program that formed the basis for the University's Frankel Center for Judaic Studies. In 1982, he became the Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. He was subsequently named Director of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry; and founded the Jacob and Libby Goodman Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel at Brandeis University. From 1991 to 1994, Dr. Reinharz served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Reinharz is also recognized as an author of numerous books.

Scott Shay  New York, New York Scott A. Shay has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Signature Bank since its inception. He has also served as a Director of Signature Securities Group since its inception and as Chairman of the Board since December 2006. Since 1980 Mr. Shay has been involved in the investment banking and venture capital industries. Mr. Shay has been Managing Director of Ranieri & Co., Inc. and a partner of Hyperion Partners since 1988. Prior to joining Ranieri & Co./Hyperion Partners, he served as a director and a senior member of the mergers and acquisitions department of Salomon Brothers, Inc. Mr. Shay serves as an officer or director of other direct and indirect subsidiaries of Hyperion Partners, L.P. and related entities. From October 1997 until August 2005, Mr. Shay served as a director of Bank Hapoalim BM, our former parent company. From December 1988 until February 2001, Mr. Shay served as a director of Bank United Corp., Texas and was a member of its audit committee for six years.

Michael Steinhardt  New York, New York
In 1995, after a legendary career, Michael H. Steinhardt retired to devote his time and fortune largely to the causes of the Jewish world. Mr. Steinhardt has masterminded his Jewish philanthropic activities through his foundation, Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation. The mission of JLN is to revitalize American Jewish life with projects that both nurture the identity of individual Jews and transform the institutions of the Jewish community to reach the widest possible spectrum of American Jewry. Among its most well-known initiatives are birthright israel, the Steinhardt Social Research Institute, the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE), Makor, Synagogue Transformation and Renewal (STAR), spark: Partnership for Service, and the Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative (JECEI). Mr. Steinhardt is also a principal supporter of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education; the Israel Museum; and Hillel, the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, through which he created the Steinhardt Jewish Campus Services Corps. Mr. Steinhardt is a member of the new ownership group of Israel’s leading bank, Bank Hapoalim, and is one of the principal investors behind The New York Sun, New York’s newest daily newspaper. In 2001, Mr. Steinhardt published his memoirs, No Bull: My Life In and Out of the Markets (John Wiley & Sons, 2001). He and his wife, Judy, are the proud parents of David, Daniel and Sara, and the grandparents of Jacob, Joshua, Kira, Talia and Tora.



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