OU Press Hires Rabbi Gil Student to be Managing Editor


rabbi-gil-studentHe’s a student of the publishing industry with hands-on experience running his own book company; he’s a knowledgeable businessman with years of experience in finance; he’s a mathematician comfortable with probability and statistics; he’s a blogger on the Internet and a published writer; and he’s a rabbi, with expertise in many areas of Torah, including the intricate laws of kosher. But above all, he’s a student – Rabbi Gil Student, the newly hired Managing Editor at OU Press, the Orthodox Union’s foray into book publishing, which got off to a start this year with “The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening.” The Haggadah is based on the teachings of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik.While primarily a rabbinic coordinator for OU Kosher, Rabbi Student was hired by Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher and General Editor of OU Press, to also plunge into the day-to-day management of OU Press, working alongside Rabbi Genack and Rabbi Simon Posner, Executive Editor, under the leadership of Chairman Julius Berman.

With Rabbi Posner’s experience as a corporate lawyer before joining OU Press and Rabbi Student’s background as a publisher, Rabbi Genack has assembled a strong team to make OU Press a major player in the world of Jewish publishing.

Rabbi Student comes to the OU from Yashar Books, Inc., a small publishing company of Jewish books, which he founded in 2004. He supervised all aspects of the business, publishing numerous books that garnered wide attention from readers and the media.

Calling on this background, at OU Press Rabbi Student will be engaged in acquisitions; project management; management of partner relationships; as well as the various components of production – editing, proofreading, typesetting, negotiating with authors, design, printing, distribution and marketing.

He will also pay close attention to finances. Rabbi Student, who graduated from Yeshiva University with a degree in mathematics, has 13 years of experience as a financial risk analyst with specialties in actuarial science, modeling, capital planning, and credit. He performed these roles at prominent banks and insurance companies. While working at his most recent position as Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis at a large bond insurer, he was running Yashar Books at the same time.

Rabbi Student declared, “Rabbi Genack was looking for ways in which I could help OU Press maximize its potential, first through purely technical expertise, but also through marketing experience – both in traditional ways and through the web – and from my general corporate skills. My blog experience on Hirhurim has also given me credibility for publicity on the Internet, which is now an important component of any attempt to reach the public.”

According to Rabbi Genack, “Rabbi Student has both the experience in publishing and shared vision with the OU that we were looking for in someone to join the OU Press leadership team. The OU Press will fill a vital need in the Jewish community, and Rabbi Student, with his background, skills and talent, will be instrumental in helping the OU Press realize its full potential.”

Right now Rabbi Student is devoting his attention to the next projects involving the commentaries of rabbi Soloveitchik, to be published in 2010: Kinos for Tisha B’Av; a siddur; and a bentcher.

Rabbi Student and his wife of 15 years, Miriam, live in the Marine Park section of Brooklyn with their four children.

{Elisha Ferber-Matzav.com Newscenter}