Lance Hirt Named Chair of the Board of RIETS
Lance Hirt ’87YC, has been elected as the new chair of the Board of Trustees of Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS).
Hirt has been an engaged trustee at the University and RIETS for the last 15 years. He has chaired the Development Committee of the University and the Finance Committee of RIETS before assuming his role as chair. Among other activities, Hirt is the driving force behind the University’s current scholarship initiative. He is a proud graduate of YU, earning a BA in Economics as well as having been class valedictorian of Yeshiva College. Mr. Hirt received his MBA and JD from Harvard University.
Prior to founding Stonecourt Capital, where he is the managing partner, Hirt was a partner at the private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg and a managing director at Morgan Stanley, where he was the operations officer for Global Mergers and Acquisitions. He began his career as a management consultant at Touche Ross & Co before practicing law at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York.
Hirt replaces outgoing chairman Rabbi Joel Schreiber ’57YC, ’60R, ’60BR, who said of Hirt, “It is a pleasure to welcome Lance Hirt as the new chairman of RIETS. He is a proven leader who has the capability to lead, coupled with a love and dedication for our great Yeshiva. I wish him great success in his new role, which bodes well for our beloved Yeshiva and its students.”
The time and effort Hirt has contributed on behalf of the University is, by all accounts, enormous, and he passionately believes in the critical role YU plays in defining and sustaining Modern Orthodoxy. “The impact that RIETS has on the global Jewish community is immeasurable,” said Hirt. “We literally produce the lion’s share of the rabbis and professionals who teach our children, speak from our pulpits, run our Kiruv [outreach] organizations, lead our Hillels, paskan [issue rulings according to Jewish law] the most difficult halachic [Jewish legal] questions and help us navigate the complexities of our engagement with the modern world. Every one of us is more than touched by this yeshiva, and we literally depend upon it and are supported by it every day of our lives.”
He comes from a true YU family. His five siblings are also YU graduates, as is his wife, Rivkie, and her siblings. Rivkie, an OB/GYN at Mount Sinai Hospital, was an assistant professor at the Einstein College of Medicine for 14 years and also served on its Board of Overseers.
Among many others, one important goal of Hirt’s is to bring young, new trustees onto the RIETS board. He has already achieved success in that area, with others joining in the near future. He and his fellow trustees are very focused on generating more graduates to go into chinuch [Jewish education] at the primary and secondary school levels and providing RIETS graduates with opportunities to acquire relevant training from other schools within the University such as the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, the Wurzweiler School of Social Work and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
“I am someone who believes deeply in the purpose and vision of this institution,” said Hurt. “Our rabbinic graduates are endowed with an education that is only available at Yeshiva University. Nothing compares.”
Rabbi Russ Shulkes Hired for Institutional Advancement Position at RIETS
Rabbi Russ Shulkes ’03YC was recently appointed as associate dean and associate vice president of Institutional Advancement at REITS. Shulkes will lead all fundraising efforts for RIETS and brings a wealth of experience to his new roles at YU. In his previous position, he served as the executive director of Hillels of Georgia, overseeing over 24 campuses in the state. Other experience includes a three-year stint for Hillel in the United Kingdom and a teaching position at Florida International University’s religion department. Shulkes sat on the executive board of the Atlanta Rabbinic Association as well as on Hillel International’s Talent Grant committee, was a mentor for Hillel’s New Directors Mentoring Program, served as an educator for the Jewish Learning Fellowship and was awarded Ally of the Year by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 2016. He graduated YU with a BA in Philosophy.
YU is thrilled to have Shulkes join the RIETS team, where he is sure to bring his well-known energy, enthusiasm and creativity to his new roles. “Coming from working on multiple university campuses, YU’s integral role for the future of Klal Yisrael [the unity of the people of Israel] could not be clearer to me,” said Shulkes. “YU and RIETS stand at the crux for the struggle for the soul of Modern Orthodoxy and Judaism itself. I couldn’t be more excited to count myself as part of that conversation and effort.”