Who is who

Board

The members of the Board of the Robert A. Levisson Foundation are appointed by the Dutch Union for Progressive Judaism. The Board is charged with managing the administrative and financial interests of the Institute. The Board appoints the Dean, the Management Team and the members of the Academic Committee.

The board members are:

  • Ella Wijnschenk-Oesterman, chair. She is a member of the Vocational Committee since the start of the Institute. Till her pension she was working for Joods Maatschappelijk Werk (national welfare organisation for the Jewish community in the Netherlands) and was member of the board of several welfare organisations inside and outside of the Jewish community.
  • Juliette Walma van der Molen, vice-chair, is Professor in Talent Development and Science and Technology Education and director of the Research Center for Science Education and Talent Development at Twente University.
  • David Allick, secretary, with the focus on general and legal affairs. He has served as a member of the board of the Liberal Jewish Congregation of Amsterdam. In daily life he is a lawyer.
  • Thijs ten Raa, treasurer. Till his pension he was Associate Professor of Economics at Tilburg University, chaired the economics committee of the Netherlands Organization for the Advancement of Research and was treasurer of the Beit Ha’Chidush congregation in Amsterdam.
  • Liane van Dantzig, member on behalf of the Board of the Dutch Union for Progressive Judaism. She is social geographer and does policy research for a research institute.

 

Dean and Management Team

The Management Team (MT) is composed of three people, each with his/her own specialty. The three members have equal authority, each in his/her field, hoewever, the Dean is the primus inter pares.

  • Menno ten Brink, Dean, is since 2004 senior rabbi of the Liberal Jewish Congregation of Amsterdam, as full time successor of rabbi David Lilienthal. Before he worked as a part-time rabbi in the Liberal Jewish Congregations of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Simultaneously he worked for 12 years as the first Liberal Jewish Chaplain to the Dutch Armed Forces. He graduated in Dutch Law at the University of Amsterdam in 1984 and was ordained at the Leo Baeck College in London in 1993. He has been a member of the Academic Committee since the beginning of the Institute. Is is also member of the board of the European Rabbinic Assembly (ERA) and of the Executive Board of the European Union for Progressive Judaism.
  • Marianne van Praag, Head Vocational Programme, is rabbi of the LJG The Hague. Marianne was ordained in 2008 as one in our first class of Levisson rabbis and has many years experience of pastoral work. She is active in several interfaith organisations, and a frequent speaker for various religious, philosophical and social institutions and associations.
  • Francine Püttmann, Director General Affairs, is the central person in the daily work, the one who coordinates all activities and is the first point of contact in all that concerns the Management Team. She studied Semitic Languages ​​at the Juda Palache Institute of the University of Amsterdam, followed by a postdoctoral year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Among others she has worked as a documentalist and photo editor at the NIW, the main Dutch Jewish Weekly, and with a number of projects of the Jewish Historical Museum. She also is the librarian of the Levisson Institute and the LJG Amsterdam.

 

Academic Committee

The Academic Committee is responsible for:
  • formulating the objectives of the training
  • appointing and assessing lecturers
  • admitting the students
  • determining the content and the quality of the courses of study
  • judging the students and the results of their studies

This is done in close consultation with the Dean, the Head Academic Program and the lecturers.
The Academic Committee may appoint subcomittees to assist in the preparation and execution of specific tasks. The final responsibility rests in all cases with the Academic Committee.

The members of the Academic Committee are:

  • Prof. dr. Irene E. Zwiep, chair, is head of the Department of Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac Languages ​​and Cultures at the University of Amsterdam.
  • Drs. A. Carolyn Levisson, secretary, was till her pension Student Psychologist at the Technical University of Delft.
  • Mr. Ernst Numann, member, is Vice-President of the Dutch Supreme Court and a former chairman of the Dutch Union for Progressive Judaism.
  • Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, rabbi-emeritus of LJG The Hague
  • Rabbi Tamarah Benima, rabbi of PJG Noord-Nederland and Beit Ha’Chidush
  • Rabbi David Lilienthal, Honarary Dean of the Levisson Institute
  • Rabbi Menno ten Brink, Dean of the Institute (without voting rights)
  • Ella Wijnschenk-Oesterman, chair of the Board (without voting rights)

 

The Academic Committee has appointed two subcommittees:

Admission Committee

This committee evaluates the candidates for the Rabbinic programme and makes a recommendation on the admission to the Academic Committee. This subcommittee consists of

  • Prof. dr. Irene Zwiep, chair of the Academic Committee
  • Drs. Carolyn Levisson, chair of the Vocational Committee
  • Rabbi Menno ten Brink, dean.


Vocational Committee

This subcommittee consists of:

  • Drs. Carolyn Levisson, chair
  • Rabbi Marianne van Praag, Head Vocational Programme
  • Jorien Tamse, former supervisor welfare and youth of Joods Maatschappelijk Werk (national welfare organisation for the Jewish community in the Netherlands)
  • Ella Wijnschenk-Oesterman, chair of the Board (listener).