Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Inside Leadership
An older woman instructing preschool ballet students

Marc Freedman is president and CEO of Encore.org, an innovation hub that taps the talent of people over 50 as a force for good. He is the author of five books, including most recently, How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations.

Named a Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the World Economic Forum, he co-founded Experience Corps to mobilize people over 50 to improve the prospects of low-income elementary school students, and the Purpose Prize, an annual award for social innovators in the second half of life. I sat down with him to talk about the social...

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Rich Cohen and Rolling Stones band member Ron Wood

Rich Cohen is the author of 13 books, including Tough Jews: Fathers, Sons, and Gangster Dreams, Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse, and The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, and co-wrote the television series, “Vinyl.” He’s a member of Congregation Shir Shalom of Westchester and Fairfield Counties in Ridgefield, CT. I sat down with Rich to talk about his literary legacy.

ReformJudaism.org: When did your fascination with Jewish gangsters begin?  

Rich Cohen: I grew up in a suburb of...

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Emma's Torch employees

Kerry Brodie is founder and executive director of Emma’s Torch, a non-profit social enterprise that provides paid culinary training and job placement for refugees, asylum seekers, and human trafficking victims. Kerry, her Israeli-born husband, and baby daughter, are members of Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, N.Y.

I caught up with Kerry, at Emma’s Torch restaurant, where I enjoyed a delicious brunch of black-eyed pea hummus, a succotash grain bowl, pulled lamb on pita, and knafeh, a Middle Eastern sweet cheese pastry.

ReformJudaism.org: What led to your changing your...

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White-haired man holding a birthday cake and blowing out the candles on it

Laura Geller, rabbi emerita of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, CA, was the third woman to be ordained in the Reform Movement. Named an “Influencer in Aging” by Next Avenue.org, a site for people over 50, she is a co-founder of ChaiVillageLA.org, the first synagogue village in America.

Rabbi Geller is the co-author, with her late husband Richard Siegel, z”l, of Getting Good at Getting Older, a whimsical do-it-yourself toolkit to empower the boomer generation to deal with the challenges of aging. I spoke with Rabbi Geller while she was on the east coast visiting her...

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Andrew Rehfeld with HUC-JIR students

Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., is the 10th president in the 144-year history of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Having served as associate professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis and as president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, Dr. Rehfeld’s career has bridged the academic and Jewish worlds.

I sat down with him at the New York City campus of HUC-JIR to ask him about the path that led to his new role.

ReformJudaism.org: Who were your Jewish earliest influencers growing up in Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and...

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