JTS Names National Expert to Lead Strategic Planning Initiative

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

April 29, 2009, New York, NY

Jacob B. ("Jack") Ukeles, founder and president of Ukeles Associates, Inc. (UAI), has been named senior consultant of strategic planning at The Jewish Theological Seminary. The announcement was made by Professor Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of JTS.

UAI is recognized nationally for its expertise in providing strategic direction to Jewish communities and organizations across the country. Through its Jewish engagement work, it has helped communities, institutions, and agencies do a better job of engaging Jewish adults and children in being Jewish through policy research, planning and management projects. It has conducted thirty strategic planning projects for institutions of Jewish higher education, Jewish federations, local governments, and other major organizations.

"JTS is a vibrant institution on which many Jews in North America depend for leadership, ideas, and inspiration. The challenges the economic realities of our time have produced have also created the opportunity for innovation, originality, and boldness. We are extremely fortunate to have engaged Jack Ukeles to lead a strategic planning process to help us determine what activities are crucial to JTS's mission and growth. Jack is a renowned expert in providing strategic direction to Jewish organizations. I am certain that he will be instrumental in guiding JTS through a re-assessment of our vision, mission, and goals as we preserve the tradition of excellence that has distinguished JTS for over a century," stated Chancellor Eisen.

In accepting this assignment, Dr. Ukeles said, "I believe that the opportunity to participate in the development of a transformative strategic plan for JTS is one of the great community-building opportunities of our time."

Dr. Ukeles will be working with a newly formed group of "fresh eyes" who will fundamentally rethink what JTS does and how it does it. The group will consult with the various constituencies of JTS in order to identify new and compelling endeavors for JTS, always making sure these efforts can be realized in a financially viable manner. Composed of a cross-section of Jewish activists and leaders, the group will report to the steering committee of the Strategic Planning Task Force that has been established by the Board of Trustees.

For the past eight years, Dr. Ukeles has served as senior organizational development consultant to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).

Prior to establishing UAI in 1986, Dr. Ukeles served as director of community services at the UJA-Federation of New York. He was an active participant in the successful effort to restructure New York City's government in the 1970s, serving as executive director of the Mayor's Management Advisory Board. He also has served as chair of the city's Rent Guidelines Board. In the 1960s, Dr. Ukeles was deputy director for Comprehensive Planning in the New York City Planning Department.

An author and educator, Dr. Ukeles was professor and founding chair of the Graduate Department of Urban Policy of the New School for Social Research, and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. He is the author of Doing More with Less: Turning Public Management Around and numerous reports and articles. He was a Fulbright Fellow in India, and earned his master's degree in City Planning and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.