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Barry Shrage joins Brandeis University’s Jewish leadership program

Barry Shrage.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/File 2017/Globe Staff

Barry Shrage, who led Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the umbrella group for Jewish institutions in Greater Boston, is heading to Brandeis to become Professor of the Practice in the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program.

Hailed by the university as “a powerful voice on the American Jewish communal scene,” Shrage will train and mentor students and help further the Hornstein program’s mission to train future Jewish professional leaders.

“Brandeis was founded 70 years ago, in 1948, by the American Jewish community, the same year as the State of Israel,” Brandeis president Ron Liebowitz said in a statement. “Barry is a transformational leader. What he achieved at CJP over 30 years is stunning. Not only did he raise $1 billion, he also championed the next generation of Jewish leaders; promoted innovation and exchanges; and helped to reinvigorate and lead one of the most important Jewish communities in America.”


Shrage announced his intention to leave Combined Jewish Philanthropies last year. He’s credited with more than doubling the annual budget of Jewish Boston’s philanthropic arm from $24 million to $57 million. The CJP board said his departure was unrelated to criticism of a $1.34 million onetime payment made to Shrage in 2014 after the board determined, on the advice of an outside firm, that he’d been undercompensated for years.

The payout, first reported by The Forward, was in addition to Shrage’s $343,000 in base salary and $220,000 in other compensation and benefits in 2014.

In a statement Wednesday, Shrage said he’s looking forward to his new job at the university, which is based in Waltham.

“Brandeis is a unique and very special institution,” he said. “As President Liebowitz reasserts Brandeis’ role as a global center of scholarship on Judaism, it is an honor to accept this faculty appointment and to join with others in advancing Brandeis as a pre-eminent intellectual center for the Jewish people and the world.”