Connect With Us


Building Jewish Education

Dr. Gil Graff

Executive Director
(323) 761-8620
[email protected]
Gil Graff has served as Executive Director of BJE since 1993.  During his tenure, BJE – through the collaborative efforts of its board and staff, and the partnership of individuals and organizations with shared goals -- has earned a national reputation for innovation and excellence in advancing the mission of encouraging participation in, enhancing the quality of, and promoting access to Jewish education.  Gil’s experience in Jewish education spans many years as a teacher and administrator at day and complementary schools and as Director of a residential summer camp.  His academic background includes several teaching credentials, a Masters Degree in Educational Administration (CSUN) as well as a J.D. (UCLA School of Law) and Ph.D. in Jewish History (UCLA). Gil has been a California Senate Fellow, a Jerusalem Fellow, and a Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

Gil is the author of three books and numerous articles on issues of Jewish education, history and law, relating to the encounter of Jews and Judaism with modernity.  He has taught graduate and professional school students as an adjunct faculty member at American Jewish University, HUC, Touro College, Spertus College and AJR-CA, and served as a mentor for the iCenter in the professional development of Israel educators.  He is currently a member of ADCA, the Association of Directors of Central Agencies, and serves as an officer of the California Association of Private School Organizations (CAPSO).
Gil and his wife Robin, also a Jewish educator, are both natives of Los Angeles.  They are the parents of two sons and a daughter who are alumni of BJE-accredited schools.  


Reflections on Jewish Education in the Writings of Eliezer Berkovits." Australian Journal of Jewish Studies Volume 32 (2019): 89-104.

Tradition in a Western Key: Essays on Jews and Judaism in a Changing World, 1789-1939. Academica Press, 2019.

"Halakhah as Torat Hayyim: The Values-Conscious Halakhic Visions of Eliezer Berkovits and Emanuel Rackman." Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 18, no. 3 (August 2019): 330-342.

"Jewish Education, Past and Present: Israel Freidlaender Revisited"  Journal of Jewish Education, Winter, 2016: 311-328.

"Giving Voice to 'Torah-true Judaism' in the U.S., 1922-1939: Leo Jung and the Legacy of the Rabbinerseminar."  Modern Judaism, Spring, 2014: 167-187.  Reprinted by permission of Oxford University Press in A Century at the Center: Orthodox Judaism & The Jewish Center, The Toby Press, ed. Zev Eleff, 2018: 253-278.

"Modernity, Judaism and Jews," in Bloomsbury Companion to Jewish Studies, ed. Dean Phillip Bell (2013): 181-206.

"Toward an Appreciation of the American Legacy of Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer: The U.S. Rabbinate of Three Hildesheimer Students." Modern Judaism, Spring, 2011: 167-188.

"First Stirrings: Jewish Education, American Style, 1776-1880," in Educational Eclectics: Essays in Memory of Shlomo (Seymour) Fox, Mandel Foundation and Keter Press, eds. Shmuel Wygoda and Israel Sorek, 2009: 99-125.

"And You Shall Teach Them Diligently": A Concise History of Jewish Education in the United States, 1776-2000. JTS Jewish Education Series, 2008.

"Central Agencies (Bureaus) of Jewish Education." In What We Now Know About Jewish Education, Torah Aura, eds. Roberta L. Goodman, Paul A. Flexner, Linda D. Bloomberg, 2008: 365-372.

Co-author, "History of Jews in Los Angeles." Encyclopedia of American Jewish History (2007), 1:132-134.

"Jewish Education in the United States of America." Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd ed. (2007), 6:189-204.

"Public Schooling and Jewish Education, 1845-1870: A Contemporary Perspective." Journal of Jewish Education,Spring-Summer, 2003: 69-76.

"Primary Sources Revisited: Methodology in the Study of Jewish History in Jewish Secondary Schools," inAcademic Approaches to Teaching Jewish Studies, University Press of America, ed. Zev Garber, 2000: 297-315.

"Whither Jewish Education? The Educational Meaning of a Transformational Event." Journal of Jewish Education,Spring, 1996: 35-37.

"Dollars, Education and Jewish Survival." Jewish Education, Spring, 1994: 12-13.

"Nachmanides and the Maimonidean Controversy: Unity and Diversity—A Legacy of Sepharad." Jewish Spectator, Spring, 1993: 33-35.

"Bureaus of Jewish Education and the Supplementary School." Jewish Education, Winter, 1992: 12-14.

“Priests, Sages and the Jurisdiction of the High Court, 50-100 C.E.: A Note on the Demotion of Rabban Gamaliel.” Shofar (Purdue University), Winter, 1990: 1-7.

“Community Based Models of Post-Bar/Bat Mitzvah Jewish Education: The L.A. Experience.” Jewish Education, Winter 1988:41-44.

“Samson Raphael Hirsch: 100 Years Later.” Shofar (Purdue University), Fall, 1988: 48-59.

“From Jerusalem to Brunswick: The Metamorphosis of Dina de-Malkhuta Dina” (Hebrew). Bitzaron, Spring, 1986: 59-63.

Separation of Church and State: Dina de-Malkhuta Dina in Jewish Law, 1750-1848. University of Alabama Press, 1985.


Stay connected to our community!