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As the Founding President of Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, Dr. Jonathan Woocher (z”l) articulated a vision for the future of Jewish life that continues to guide the Foundation’s work. Following his charge, our mission is to help Jews and fellow travelers apply Jewish wisdom to thrive and shape a better world, and we strive to bring his insights to all aspects of our work.

“I learned from and treasured every conversation with Jon,” says Joe Kanfer, a Founding Director of the Foundation and a close friend of Dr. Woocher. “His clear-eyed understanding of the Jewish world combined with an unquenchable optimism helped shape the worldview of educators and lay leaders alike. In Jon’s work we can see the roots and the branches of the incredible renaissance of Jewish life which we are experiencing today. At Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah we are proud to be carrying on his work.”

We are heartbroken that we no longer have Dr. Woocher as part of our team answering these questions, and we constantly find ourselves asking, “What would Jon do?”

While the particular answers to that question vary depending on the situation, one underlying response remains constant: more research. Dr. Woocher pushed the Foundation to make research an essential part of our work. From sponsoring research exploring the impact of our inaugural Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom, to commissioning a study of Jewish sensibilities, to dreaming of a fellowship in education for applied Jewish wisdom (which eventually became a reality through a partnership with JTS’s Davidson School of Education), he helped develop a culture of rigorous reflection and curiosity.

To honor this tremendous contribution to our work and to the shaping of the future of Jewish life, in 2019 we launched the Woocher Research Fellowship in his honor. Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah sponsors Woocher Research Fellows to explore topics that help answer questions of how Jewish wisdom can be applied to help people thrive and contribute to shaping a better world.

Woocher Fellows

Meet the Woocher Research Fellows

Learn more about the Dr. Jonathan Woocher Research Fellows, their areas of expertise, and their work.