Sara Lee

As director of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College, Sara Lee helped transform day schools, Hebrew schools and other Jewish institutions. The product of organizations like Young Judea and the Zionist Youth Movement, Lee graduated cum laude from Radcliffe in 1955 and worked as a lay leader for Hadassah and the Heschel Day School in Northridge, California. In 1977 she earned an MA in Jewish education from the Rhea Hirsch School and began teaching there, serving as the school’s director from 1980–2007. She made the school a leader in the field through research and experimentation in different learning methods and her interfaith work as co-director of the Lilly Endowment Colloquium for Catholic and Jewish Educators. She also edited three books on Jewish education, A Congregation of Learners, Touching the Future: Mentoring and the Jewish Professional, and Communities of Learning: A Vision for the Jewish Future. She has received numerous honors, including an award from Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1997, an honorary doctorate from JTS in 1999, and the President’s Award for Distinguished Leadership of Jewish Education from the State of Israel in 2005. As of 2014 she is professor emerita at HUC.


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Sara Lee transformed Jewish schools and education.

Courtesy of Hebrew Union College

Date of Birth

Boston, MA
United States

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Sara Lee." (Viewed on May 17, 2021) <>.


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