Hebrew College to Honor Philanthropist Jay Ruderman

jay rudermanPhilanthropist Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, will be honored by Hebrew College later this month for his advocacy on behalf of persons with disabilities in the Jewish community and Israel.

Ruderman, of Brookline, Mass., will receive the college’s S’ftai Tiftach (“Open My Lips”) Award at the seventh annual GISHA conference March 15 at Hebrew College. The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of special education.

“The Ruderman Foundation, and Jay Ruderman in particular, have been thesingle most powerful force in bringing the issue of universal access to Jewish education to the forefront of our consciousness,” said Rabbi Michael Shire, dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education. “Whether working on professional development for Jewish special educators, collaborating on funding for the field, or initiating advocacy for inclusivity in Jewish schools, synagogues and camps, Jay has kept us focused on the moral imperative to educate all Jewish children.”

With a commitment to social justice and innovation, the Ruderman Family Foundation supports a range of projects that focus on integrating persons with disabilities into society, and minimizing their feelings of loneliness. These projects cover education, housing, employment, synagogues, community life and more. The foundation also works to foster an understanding of the American Jewish community among Israeli leaders. It awards approximately $8 million in grants annually.

Jay Ruderman graduated with honors from Brandeis University and received his law degree from Boston University. Upon graduating law school, he began his career as an assistant district attorney in Salem, Mass.

In the fall of 2001, he became deputy director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in New England. In 2005, Ruderman enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces and became the liaison between the IDF and Diaspora Jewry. After his service in the IDF, he returned to AIPAC as the leadership director for AIPAC in Israel.

Ruderman has served as president of the Ruderman Family Foundation since 2008.

— Posted March 7, 2015