The Heart of The Covenant Foundation

Awards Program

2009 Covenant Award Recipient

Erica Brown

Erica Brown - 2009 Award Recipient

Erica Brown - 2009 Award Recipient

Dr. Erica Brown, Scholar-in-Residence at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and Director of Adult Education at the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning, a partner agency of the federation, has made and continues to make a deep and continuing impact leading community-wide programs of adult Jewish learning and leadership development. She is the author of Inspired Jewish Leadership: Practical Approaches to Building Strong Communities (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2008), the basis for Jewish leadership-building curricula throughout the country.

Dr. Erica Brown is the Director for Adult Education at The Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning and consults for The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Erica is the author of the book, Inspired Jewish Leadership, a National Jewish Book Award finalist and Spiritual Boredom, and co-author of The Case for Jewish Peoplehood (all through Jewish Lights). She was a Jerusalem Fellow, is a faculty member of the Wexner Foundation, an Avi Chai Fellow, winner of the Ted Farber Professional Excellence Award, and the recipient of the 2009 Covenant Award for her work in education. Erica has degrees from Yeshiva University, University of London, Harvard University and Baltimore Hebrew University. She has served as an adjunct professor at American University and George Washington University. She lectures widely on subjects of Jewish interest and leadership, in addition to extensive writing in journals of education and Jewish studies and writes a weekly internet essay called “Weekly Jewish Wisdom” (www.pjll.org) that also appears on the Newsweek/Washington Post’s “On Faith” website. She resides with her husband and four children in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“Erica’s unique gift lies in her ability to take adult learners out of their comfort zones and to put them on a larger stage, to inspire them, and to compel them to act. Her decision to make her career at the communal level speaks volumes about her desire to reach a very broad cross section of Jews and to deeply influence the culture of a major Jewish community.”

Dr. Misha Galperin, Chief Executive Officer
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

“The entire Greater Washington Jewish community is benefiting from Erica’s holistic view of the importance of having a wide range of ongoing adult Jewish educational learning opportunities. In just four years, Erica has had a tremendous impact on adult Jewish education in our community. Our Jewish identity—as individuals and as a community—is stronger for her efforts.”

Michael Feinstein, Chief Operating Officer
JCC of Greater Washington

“My first ongoing work with Dr. Brown was during the years that she was a Fellow in the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows program. In a group of unusually talented educators from around the world, Erica stood out. She had come to the Fellows with a superb reputation from Boston, and we saw immediately why that was the case. She combined creativity and intellect, seriousness of purpose with intellectual openness and personal warmth, and a commitment to theory with a deep well of practical experience.”

Rabbi Daniel Gordis, PhD, Senior Vice President
The Shalem Center

“Erica helped CJP create a broad-ranging network of adult learning opportunities for far-flung communities throughout the Boston area, communities that wanted to create an atmosphere receptive to adult learning. Erica never failed to find the right formula for each community, congregation, and individual. She is an extraordinary educator and leader who was instrumental in the great revolution for adult Jewish learning in Greater Boston.”

Barry Shrage, President
Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston