Rabbinic Management Institute

Certificate in Nonprofit Management
for Rabbis

Today's rabbis face the increasing demands of managing nonprofit organizations. Rabbinic Management Institute provides an opportunity for rabbis to add to their business skills and incorporate best practices into the complex world of synagogues and nonprofit institutions. With the combined resources of American Jewish University’s Graduate School of Nonprofit Management and the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, RMI offers top-notch professional training and experiential learning, giving rabbis the knowledge and practical skills necessary to manage an effective Jewish organization in the 21st Century.

During the year of learning and case study comprised of on-site seminars, mentorship and distance learning, rabbis engage in deep, applied, educational and professional development in the following areas:

  • Nonprofit Management and Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Fund Development
  • Accounting and Budgeting
  • Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation
  • Staff Training & Supervision
Email Rabbi Cheryl Peretz:
or Call (310) 440-1213

"From the moment I arrived at the RMI seminar and met the outstanding instructors and colleagues with whom I would be learning, everything fell into place. I have enjoyed everything so far and look forward to my continued learning throughout the year and putting this knowledge to use."
Rabbi David Seed, Toronto, ON

"RMI is empowering me with the skills I need to be a better leader. I am learning not only how to plan for the future of my current organization but also for the future of my rabbinate. I feel excited to find solutions to problems instead of overwhelmed by the challenges congregational life presents."
Rabbi Elana Zelony, Atlanta, GA

The nine-month certificate program, with breaks for summer and the fall holidays, is comprised of:

  • Two On-Site Seminars
  • Monthly Distance Learning
  • Regular Mentorship
  • Two Hours of Individual Supplemental Work per Month

Rabbinic Management Institute is comprised of two on-site seminars in addition to distance learning and mentorship based on integrating theory and practice through the utilization of case studies.

The Seminars

RMI 2014 commences Sunday, November 9, 2014 through Wednesday, November 12, 2014, and concludes Sunday, June 7, 2015 through Thursday, June 11, 2015. Both seminars will be held at AJU's Familian Campus in Bel Air, CA.

During each of the seminars, students will study nonprofit management theory and best practices, and engage in practical skills development with their fellow participants. Students will have access to RMI faculty and mentors as well as a cadre of colleagues simultaneously developing their own skills.

In addition to AJU’s world-class learning facilities, students will be able to join the Ziegler School’s daily minyan each morning and have access to athletic facilities. Opportunities for social outings in the Los Angeles area will also be organized.

Distance Learning and Mentorship

In between the two seminars, RMI continues with monthly distance-learning focused on the integration of theory and practice into each rabbi’s unique organizational work with regular feedback and input from faculty.

Students will have the opportunity to work regularly with a rabbi and/or organizational executive mentor over the course the program. This mentor will be available for consultation on learning as well as issues encountered in each participant’s professional setting. The ongoing relationship will supplement RMI learning and provide additional resources to help each student apply RMI learning to the real world.

Students should expect to devote two hours per month to supplementary reading and assignments.


The cost of RMI is $1800, inclusive of tuition, as well as all housing and some meals* at the seminars. Tuition must be paid in full before the commencement of the Opening Seminar, and includes a $250 nonrefundable deposit.

We are able to offer RMI at a below-cost rate based upon full enrollment. If, due to exigent circumstances, a student needs to withdraw from the program, tuition fees will only be refunded prior to October 15, 2014. All tuition fees - will be due upon enrollment in Rabbinic Management Institute, and no refunds will be granted after October 15, 2014.


*Students may elect to have three meals per day covered for an additional fee of $100 per on-site seminar, in addition may request a single occupancy rooms, for an additional fee of $100 per on-site seminar, provided there is space available


Email Rabbi Cheryl Peretz: cperetz@aju.edu or Call (310) 440-1213



Rabbis will engage in deep, applied, educational and professional development in the following areas:

Nonprofit Management and Leadership:

Supervision; Board Development; Board and Staff Roles/Relations; Organizational Management; Volunteer Development; Identifying Constituencies; Motivation of Others; Self Differentiation; Emotional Intelligence; Models of Jewish Leadership; Communication Skills; Negotiation; Modalities of Communication; Mediation; Active Listening.

Fund Development:

Solicitation Training; Donor Cultivation and Motivation for Giving; Fundraising Techniques; Institutional Positioning; Annual Giving; Planned Giving; Grant Writing; Special Events; Corporate Sponsorship.


Social Media; Brand Definition; Audience Profiling; Marketplace Analysis; Defining Strategy; Approaching the Media.

Accounting and Budgeting:

Interpreting Financial Statements; Long-Range Budgets; Oversight; Midyear Adjustments; Variance; Using the Budget as a Planning Tool.

Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation:

Articulation of Mission, Vision and Values; Internal and External Stakeholders; Financial Performance Assessment; SWOT Analysis; Program Evaluation; Design, Collection, Analysis and Reporting; Anticipation and Management of Resistance.

RMI 3  

"As a rabbi my focus has been on how to study, analyze and transmit Torah. I have come to realize that to be successful, I must also develop my executive skills. RMI is providing me with these tools so I can become the best leader I can be."
Rabbi Eric Solomon, Raleigh, NC


Mike Hoff 

Mike Hoff is President of Hoff Consulting, specializing in consultation to nonprofit organizations. Most recently, he served as the Director of Consulting and Education Services at the Center for Nonprofit Management in Los Angeles. His experience includes ten years as an executive director for Boys’ Clubs of America, five years on the faculty at California State University, Long Beach, and over twenty five years as an organization and human resource development manager and consultant. He is the former head of organization development and training functions at Mattel Toys, Fluor Corporation, and Western Digital, and also served as Regional Director, Southern California, for the American Management Association.

Nina Lieberman, MSW 

Nina Lieberman is Dean of AJU’s Graduate School of Nonprofit Management. Under her leadership since 2004, all aspects of the program have been reinvigorated. Expanded recruitment efforts have resulted in a 40% increase in enrollment, and a comprehensive evaluation has led to significant curricular and faculty additions. Nina teaches classes on nonprofit management and business ethics. Previously, Nina served as the Executive Vice President of the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Los Angeles and Director of Social Services at the Jewish Home for the Aging. She holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California, and received her B.A. in Social Welfare from the UC Berkeley.

Rabbi Cheryl Peretz, MBA 

Rabbi Cheryl Peretz is Associate Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. Rabbi Peretz brings experience in marketing, organizational structures, personnel supervising, budget and finance, and staff/board relationship and development, consulting with both rabbis and organizations to create healthy, productive relationships. In addition to her work at AJU, Rabbi Peretz has served as a pulpit rabbi in Los Angeles area synagogues such as Sinai Temple, and most recently as interim rabbi at Adat Shalom. A graduate of the joint program between Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Peretz went on to earn her MBA in Marketing Management from Baruch College.

Pamela R. Ross, MBA

Pam is a CPA specializing in nonprofit organizations. She provides accounting management services to private foundations and public charities, as well as tax return preparation for tax-exempt entities. Pam is a graduate of UCLA where she earned her BA as well as her MBA. Before beginning her accounting career, she was a special education teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Transitioning to the business world upon completion of her MBA program, Pam worked for Hewlett Packard in computer sales and support. She began her work in public accounting in 1991.

Dan Rothblatt, MSW, MJCS

Dan Rothblatt has served as Senior Vice President of Philanthropic Services at the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles since 2007. The Foundation is the largest manager of charitable assets for Greater Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists. Dan has a Masters degree in Social Work from the USC, a Masters degree in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and a Bachelors degree from San Francisco State University in Design and Industry.

Gary Wexler 

Gary Wexler spent the first fifteen years of his career as an award winning copywriter and creative director for some of America's largest ad agencies working on clients ranging from Apple Computer to Coca Cola. He has since spent the following years devoted to marketing the nonprofit sector. Many of his clients have been major Jewish organizations in the US, Canada and Israel, ranging from Federations, the JDC and JAFI, to the foundations of Steven Spielberg, Michael Steinhardt and Charles Bronfman. Gary writes extensively on marketing in the Jewish world.

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