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Michelle Shain

Director of Research

Dr. Michelle Shain is Director of Research at the Jewish Nonprofit Planning and Research Institute. She helps Jewish communal professionals and lay leaders collect and use data to inform decision-making.

Dr. Shain believes in the power of data to make the world a better place.

Before coming to JNPRI, Dr. Shain directed the Center for Communal Research at the Orthodox Union, creating actionable insights through a sophisticated program of applied social research and program evaluation. She also conducted research for ten years at Brandeis University’s Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, where she played an instrumental role in documenting the long-term impact of Birthright Israel. She has published in prestigious academic journals such as the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and has advised nonprofit organizations, including the Pew Research Center and UJA-Federation of New York, on major studies of American Jews.

Dr. Shain holds a PhD in Social Policy from Brandeis University, an MA in Contemporary Jewry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a BA in Anthropology and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University.

Dr. Shain lives in Sharon, MA with her husband and four children. In her free time, you can find her wandering through the galleries at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and learning to play the classic lever harp.

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