The Institute for Jewish Spirituality announced today that Michal Fox Smart will become the organization’s first Chief Program Officer effective July 1. She will serve as the leader of the program team, overseeing the Institute’s faculty and program staff and coordinating the work of its rich roster of instructors, and will be responsible for developing and delivering all of IJS’s programmatic offerings.
Smart joins IJS after an already distinguished career in Jewish education. She has previously served as Executive Director of the Isabella Freedman retreat center, co- founded the Teva Outdoor Learning Center, and led the Jewish Studies faculty as Associate Principal at Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford, CT. Most recently, Smart served as Director of Ayeka North America, overseeing the development of its celebrated programs to enhance spiritual development in Jewish day schools.
Smart is a graduate of Princeton University (BA) and Cornell University (MS in Natural Resources), a Wexner Graduate Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar, and a Fellow in the Melton Senior Educators Program. In 2015 she received the Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Her 2013 book, Kaddish: Women’s Voices (Urim Publications) received a National Jewish Book Award. She also lists on her resume that she is a mother of five children, competes in triathlons, writes poetry, practices Jewish/kundalini yoga, and teaches wilderness exploration.
“I am thrilled that Michal is joining our team in this senior leadership role,” says Executive Director Rabbi Josh Feigelson. “Michal’s combination of experience, talent, intelligence, and creativity are exactly what we need now as we rise to meet the growing demand for IJS’s work. She will help our faculty to do their best work, aid us in our strategic thinking and planning, strengthen our integration of meaningful outcomes assessment, and serve as a highly-respected representative of IJS in the worlds of Jewish education and philanthropy.”