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Spertus Institute unveils new brand identity

Spertus Institute unveils new brand identity

By Lewis Lazare for Chicago Business Journal

To help clarify and sharpen its mission, the 90-year-old, Chicago-based Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning has launched a new brand identity. Effective immediately, the Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning will be known as the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.

The rebranding is subtle, but executives at Spertus believe it will help both the institution’s core constituency and the greater public better understand the college’s newly-refocused reason for being.

Noted Spertus President Hal Lewis: Simply stated, we believe that a learning community is a vibrant community.” Lewis went on to say Spertus now aims to be the school in Chicago for leadership training and development in the not-for-profit sector both within and beyond the Jewish community

Lewis also said it is his and his staff’s belief that a vibrant Jewish community and a world-class city require first-rate education and training for organizational leaders.

Along with adding new professional programming geared towards leadership development, Spertus is enhancing its lineup of public programming at its headquarters at 610 S. Michigan Ave., in Chicago's South Loop district.

Among the speakers scheduled to appear are September 11 Victim Compensation Fund Director Kenneth Feinberg on Mar. 10, AHAVA North America CEO Elana Drell Szyfer on May 5, and New York Times best-selling author Nate Silver on May 19.

The Chicago office of the global branding consultancy Prophet helped Spertus with its rebranding initiative. Prophet has worked with clients such as Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Visa and Zurich Financial. A Spertus spokeswoman said that through a series of brainstorming exercises, Spertus staff and trustees, together with Prophet branding experts, came up with the new name.

The latest rebranding is not the first for Spertus. The institution opened in 1924 as the College of Jewish Studies and in 1970 was renamed Spertus College to honor the Spertus family’s generosity to the institution. And in 1993, Spertus College became Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies.

In 2007, Spertus moved into its new home at 610 S. Michigan, an award-winning, environmentally-sustainable facility.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013