Daniel Libenson, Founder, President, Senior Fellow
Daniel Libenson is the founder and president of the Institute for the Next Jewish Future, as well as the director of jU Chicago, which is an INJF lab. His extensive background in Jewish communal innovation includes six years as Executive Director of the University of Chicago Hillel and three years as Director of New Initiatives at Harvard Hillel. Dan is a 2009 AVI CHAI Fellow and has also received the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence award, Hillel International's highest professional honor. In 2010, he was named a Jewish Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Jewish News. Dan attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude, was an articles editor of the Harvard Law Review, and assisted Professor Alan Dershowitz in criminal defense work and on book projects, including The Vanishing American Jew. Dan has published articles in Ha'aretz, The New York Jewish Week, Zeek, eJewishPhilanthropy, and elsewhere. Before devoting his life to working in the Jewish community, Dan spent five years as a law professor after clerking for Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago with his wife and two children. You can contact Dan at Dan@nextjewishfuture.org.
Lex Rofes, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, Fellow
Lex Rofes is a Jewish Educator and Organizer who serves as Strategic Initiatives Coordinator of the Institute for the Next Jewish Future. He graduated with a BA in Judaic Studies from Brown University. While a student there, he served as Student President of Brown RISD Hillel and as a Student Representative on the board of Hillel International. He also helped start the Open Hillel campaign, serving on its first steering committee as Jewish Outreach Coordinator. He comes to us from the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, based in Jackson, Mississippi, where he served as an Education Fellow. He has had articles published by JTA, MyJewishLearning.Com, JewSchool: Progressive Jews & Views, NewVoices, and others. A short essay of his was included in Greenhaven Press's educational resource entitled Anti-Semitism: Opposing Viewpoints. He grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island and is studying towards rabbinic ordination through ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Contact Lex at Lex@Nextjewishfuture.org.