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Spertus Welcomes Incoming Chairman Peter Bensinger, Jr.

Spertus Welcomes Incoming Chairman Peter Bensinger, Jr.

Peter Bensinger, Jr.


Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership proudly announces Peter Bensinger, Jr. as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

A thoughtful leader and passionate advocate for Spertus, Peter brings energy, enthusiasm, and a range of diverse talents to his new role.

Peter is a respected partner at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP and a leader in Chicago’s Jewish community. His path to both his professional and volunteer careers has been non-traditional to say the least.

Peter began his professional life as an actor in New York City, with appearances on Saturday Night Live and All My Children. It was a fairly chance occurrence, when Peter was called for jury duty, that led him to law school.

The judge of the case on which Peter had been selected as jury foreman pulled him aside and suggested that he’d make an excellent trial lawyer, a prediction that has proven to be correct.

Since that time Peter has never stopped learning — as well as teaching — relying on past skills to meet new challenges. Known for his ability to explain complex issues to judges and juries, he has gained expertise in immunology, microbiology, electromagnetic wave resistivity, motor oil, and stealth boats.

He also learned about Judaism. Raised in a household with strong Jewish identification but little Jewish practice, it was as an adult — seeking to stay one step ahead of his religious-school-attending daughters — that Peter learned about Jewish practice, grappled with Jewish texts (in the original Hebrew), and pursued ways to strengthen the Jewish community. He has served as President of Sinai Congregation, is active with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, and is a proud alumnus of the Certificate in Jewish Leadership program, a partnership between Spertus Institute and Northwestern University. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute of the Anne and Rabert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

About Peter, Spertus President and CEO Dr. Hal M. Lewis said, “Peter walks the walk. He has made Jewish learning a part of his life.”


Read a profile of Peter from when he was selected by American Lawyer as the "Most Wired Lawyer in America" > 

Monday, August 15, 2016

New Trustees

Spertus warmly welcomes a first-class foursome of new trustees:

John Gallop, Managing Director of Advisory Research Investment Management, Inc.

Michael Markman, retired consulting partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

Aaron Turner, Vice President with DeWitt Stern

Bruce Werner, Managing Director of Kona Advisors LLC

We are delighted to have them on board.

In Memoriam

Spertus Institute mourns the loss of two long-time trustees, Eric Joss and Robert (Bud) Lifton.

Both served Spertus and the Chicago community with devotion and commitment. They will be greatly missed.

Looking Ahead

Among Peter Bensinger, Jr.'s goals for his chairmanship:

  • Expansion of Spertus Institute's profile as the place for Jewish leadership training (ideally as the most lively, interesting, relevant, discussion-generating, relationship-building place for Jewish leadership)
  • Increased outreach and offerings for women leaders in the Jewish community
  • Targeted offerings for CEOs of Jewish organizations
  • Bring new participants, donors, and trustees into the Spertus fold