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Foundation Welcomes New Director of Curriculum and Research

Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2019

It is with great excitement that we share the news that The Wexner Foundation has named Rabbi Dr. Tali Zelkowicz as the Director of Curriculum and Research. She assumed the position earlier this summer.

Dr. Zelkowicz’s unique skill set made her an ideal match for this new position as she’ll be able to apply her expertise as a sociologist, researcher and educator. As a sociologist of Jewish education, Tali has focused her research on cultural straddling and the ways we manage the tensions that are produced by being a part of and apart from American life, as Jews. 

In 2016, after a decade of research, writing and teaching graduate students in rabbinical, educational and non-profit management degree programs at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, Tali translated her research on integration and identity work into practice as the head of school at Columbus Jewish Day School, where she currently serves as a strategic advisor.

“The background and expertise that Dr. Zelkowicz will bring to The Foundation will meaningfully deepen our leadership curricula and strengthen the engagement opportunities we offer our Wexner network,” said Rabbi Elka Abrahamson, President of The Wexner Foundation. “Tali is uniquely suited to this role and we are blessed to add her knowledge and extraordinary talents to our team in this new position. We have come to know Tali first as a Fellow of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and then as an engaged alum and colleague. We are confident she will continue to excel in this newly created position. It's an exciting opportunity for us to have a skilled curriculum designer and researcher on the team!”

Tali completed her undergraduate work in sociology on the Dean’s List at the University of British Columbia before attending HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, where she received rabbinical ordination and an MA in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School. She earned her doctorate at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She received a Young Scholar’s Award from the Network for Research in Jewish Education and was granted a Writing Dissertation Fellowship from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. Her articles and chapters on identity formation appear in a variety of journals, magazines and anthologies.

“To be shaping this new position in curriculum and research with a stunning team of colleagues who are equally animated by collaboration, mission-driven change and a culture of imagination feels charged with exhilarating potential,” Tali said. “I am delighted to be able to combine my passions for education, sociological investigation and developing leaders at The Wexner Foundation. Especially at this juncture of Jewish life, I believe that sharpening our practice of intentional, effective and inspiring leadership education is as important as ever. I am so honored to participate in our ongoing project of the transformative teaching and learning of leadership.”