Gady Levy, vice president in charge of the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Judaism (UJ), likes to talk about how "all over the place" he is. It is true that as he talks about the new opportunities offered up by the merger between UJ and the Brandeis-Bardin Institute (BBI), he verbally skitters between programs and philosophies and a zillion new ideas he has. But it is also true that all of his scattered energy focuses in on one goal: enriching people's lives through Judaism.
When Linda Volpert Gross took on chairing the board at Brandeis-Bardin Institute (BBI), it seemed that she would have a simple tenure. The institute had just hired Rabbi Isaac Jeret as president, someone they hoped could lead BBI into a bright new future.
The University of Judaism (UJ) and Brandeis-Bardin Institute (BBI), two Southern California institutions that for the last 60 years have educated and inspired Jews of all ages and affiliations -- and that have both at times struggled through financial and leadership troubles -- this week will announce that they have merged into one entity, to be known as the American Jewish University.
Following a 14-month search, the board of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute (BBI) voted unanimously Feb. 9 to elect Rabbi Lee T. Bycel as BBI's new chief executive officer.
Following an intensive, three-year fund-raising campaign, augmented by government aid, BBI has moved from "rubble to renewal" and from "dream to reality," according to the invitation to the Sept. 14 event.