Rabbi Daniel Smokler

Chief Innovation Officer, Hillel International

Rabbi Daniel Smokler is the inaugural chief innovation officer at Hillel International. Funded by a major grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, he founded the Senior Jewish Educator Initiative in 2008. In 2011, the Jewish Week named Dan one of the 36 under 36 change-makers in Jewish life.

Following college, Dan worked as a labor union organizer for the Service Employees Union and the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union in Connecticut and Los Angeles. Later, Dan would go on to found Organizational Solutions, a labor consulting firm that helped reorganize the Writer’s Guild of America.

Dan went to Israel for his rabbinical education as was ordained in 2005 by Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, of Jerusalem’s highest rabbinic court. Dan has worked for Hillel at Occidental College, UCLA and now NYU. In addition to his work, Dan is completing a PhD in Education and Jewish Studies at NYU. He is also a Wexner Graduate Fellow. 

Dan grew up in Ann Arbor Michigan and graduated Cum Laude from Yale University with a BA in the History of Art. He lives in New York with wife Dr. Erin Leib Smokler, the director of Spiritual Development at Yeshivat Maharat, and their two sons, Shalev and Nadiv.


Jewish Education: What Is It Good For? Absolutely Everything

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