Since its founding, Brandeis’ identity has been shaped, in large part, by its Jewish roots and the sizeable Jewish presence on campus.

And since 2008, the University’s Jewish community has been shaped, in large part, by the University’s Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Elyse Winick ’86. At the end of this semester, on Dec. 3, Winick will conclude her eight-year term as chaplain, according to an email sent to the University community from Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel on Wednesday.

This board would like to express gratitude to Winick for the important work she has done for the University community and wish her success in the next stage in her career as an educator, as she becomes the full-time director of adult learning at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston. She will officially enter this position on Dec. 12.

Following a term as assistant director of the Brandeis Hillel in the 1990s, Winick began her tenure at the University Chaplaincy in 2008, as interim Jewish chaplain, and had accepted an unconditional status as Jewish chaplain by March of 2009, according to a March 31, 2009 Justice article.

As one of the integral members of the Multifaith Chaplaincy, Winick has worked to make the University campus a welcoming environment to students of all religious backgrounds. She has been a key figure in the formation and growth of Brandeis Bridges, bringing together members of the University’s Jewish and Black communities and facilitating dialogue on racial and religious relations on campus. Winick also sends out regular informational emails on Jewish holidays and rituals.

In addition to this, Winick has given selflessly within the Jewish community. She is famous at Hillel for her thoughtful and inspiring sermons, her delicious “Tea and Treats” events and her steadfast and compassionate spiritual guidance to students both in times of crisis and in times of celebration.

We are sorry to see such a warm and inspiring leader leave our campus, but we are grateful to Winick for leaving the University with a community as rich as ours — a community that surely could not have been built without the guidance of a chaplain like Winick. She has been an invaluable mentor to her students at Brandeis, and we wish her all the best as she begins her work as a mentor to adults at CJP.