Jane and Ned Gladstein
Masorti Olami is honoring Jane and Ned Gladstein for their immense contributions to the Movement around the world. The 2018 Annual Tribute event will be held in New York on Sunday, November 11th 2018.
With the exception of their own children and grandchildren, nothing makes Jane and Ned Gladstein prouder than the Gladstein Fellows—their namesake cohort of rabbinical students and rabbis whom they have trained and nurtured over the past 15 years.
Jane and Ned met more than 45 years ago, and in the 41 years they have been married they have helped change the face of the Conservative Rabbinate in the United States and left a profound impact on Masorti Jewish communities all around the world. Jane and Ned are known throughout the Jewish world for their philanthropy and for implementing their vision for the Jewish future, but nowhere so thoroughly as in the Gladstein Fellowship in Entrepreneurial Rabbinic Leadership at the Jewish Theological Seminary —the elite training program they created for future rabbis in the Conservative Movement.
Inspired by Chayl Masorti, an initiative to send young, dynamic Masorti couples to develop smaller communities around the world, Jane and Ned wanted to replicate its success in the United States. Initially founded as a simple scholarship for rabbinical students, the Gladstein Fellowship in Entrepreneurial Rabbinic Leadership has grown into a comprehensive professional training program in community development and leadership skills, and has become one of the most prestigious names is rabbinical training in the United States. Each year one promising rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary is named a Gladstein Fellow, gaining him or her access to an extraordinary degree of training and professional coaching, unprecedented for young rabbinical students.
A key stipulation of the Gladstein Fellowship is the requirement that each Fellow serve a minimum of three years post-ordination as a solo rabbi in a congregation, guaranteeing that each Fellow receives the full gamut of hands-on professional experience, ensuring they develop the skills and confidence needed to lead any community anywhere. The entrepreneurial leadership and community development skills acquired through the Gladstein Fellowship is preparing the next generation of Conservative rabbis to deal with the changing complexion of the Jewish Community in North America.
Five generations of Gladsteins have been members of Congregation Agudath Israel in Caldwell, NJ where Jane has worked for over 30 years as a teacher in the Early Childhood Center. Ned served as President of Agudath Israel from 1989 to 1991.
The Gladsteins attribute their level of involvement and commitment to Jewish life around the world to Rabbi Alan Silverstein of Agudath Israel, who has held various leadership positions in the Jewish Community worldwide. Rabbi Silverstein has frequently used Jane and Ned as his emissaries. In 2001, Rabbi Silverstein selected them as couriers to deliver a donated Torah scroll to the Masorti Community in Prague. On a mission to Latin America, Jane and Ned were shocked by the condition of the children’s’ playground in the community in Mendoza with its overflowing septic tank, and helped design and construct a new, state of the art playground for the community. Jane and Ned’s worldwide involvement has also led them to support a kindergarten for the Masorti community in Kiev, the gan in Kehillat Ramot Zion in French Hill, Jerusalem, as well as community projects in various places in Europe and Latin America. Ned has served as Treasurer and Vice President of Masorti Olami. In 2015 the Gladstein Fellowship partnered with Masorti Olami to run a mission to bring their cohort of American Rabbis to meet Masorti communities in London, Paris and Budapest, and they are planning their next Fellowship Mission to Latin America.
The Gladstein family has lived in Caldwell, NJ since 1940 when Ned’s grandfather founded the original Sunrise Market, and where his father later joined Wakefern Food Corporation, the ShopRite cooperative of grocery stores. Ned has enjoyed a long and productive career both at Wakefern, the cooperative, and at Sunrise ShopRite, the family business currently headed by their daughter, Dara Sblendorio. Ned is currently on the Board of Trustees at the Jewish Theological Seminary and is slated to become the next International President of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
Most of all, Jane and Ned are the proud parents of Dara, Liza and Hannah and have eight of the most delicious grandchildren ever.