Dr. Hal M. Lewis is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago where he also serves as Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies. Prior to joining Spertus in September of 2002, Dr. Lewis served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Columbus (Ohio) Jewish Federation from 1999-2002. He is a recognized authority on leadership and has published widely on the subject in both the popular press and scholarly journals. His book Models and Meanings in the History of Jewish Leadership (The Edwin Mellen Press, 2004) has been called “a must read for both current and future communal leadership.” His work, From Sanctuary to Boardroom: A Jewish Approach to Leadership (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), has been hailed by scholars, communal professionals and clergy alike.
His professional experience includes positions as the Executive Vice President of Adath Israel Congregation (Cincinnati, Ohio), Campaign Director and Assistant Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, National Executive Vice President of the American Sephardi Federation (New York), and Director General of the International Jewish Committee for Sepharad ’92 (New York, Jerusalem, and Istanbul).
A master educator, he has served on the Teaching Faculty of the University of Cincinnati, University of Illinois, Chicago, Baltimore Hebrew University, the Wexner Heritage Foundation, and the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School, where he participated in a similar capacity as Visiting Faculty at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Professor Lewis holds a Doctorate in Jewish Studies from Spertus Institute, an MA in Counseling from the University of South Florida, and a BA in Political Science from Columbia University.
A passionate advocate for adult learning, his extensive experience with religious and communal groups gives him a unique perspective on organizational leadership in America. His broad range and engaging style make him an often sought after speaker, trainer, and educator across North America.