New Rider dean connects with community
Elad Granot, who joined Rider University as dean of its College of Business Administration on July 1, has already offered his expertise in marketing and branding to the Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks.
It’s the result of an impulse to serve that he said he brought with him from Cleveland, where as associate dean of MBA programs at Cleveland State University’s Monte Ahuja College of Business, he became deeply involved in the Jewish community.
“I see that as one of the ways I can contribute and bring my knowledge to anyone who can benefit from it; I see it as a perfect outlet for chipping in like everyone else,” said the native Israeli, whose expertise is primarily in marketing strategy. “I am looking to contribute in any way I can: strategy, thinking, brainstorming, or putting up a yard sign. We want to make sure we get connected as we have been in the last nine years in Cleveland.”
Mark Merkovitz, interim executive director of the PMB federation, welcomed Granot’s offer. “I see Elad as a great resource for federation and the Jewish community as a whole,” he said.
In Cleveland, Granot attended events at the federation and the local JCC, and participated in fund-raising events and phonathons. (He was accompanied most often by his wife, Iris, who is director of the Hebrew immersion program at the Anisfield Day Camp of the Mandel JCC of Cleveland; she is, Elad wrote, “one of the leading experts in the field.”)
He also served on the board of the Cleveland Jewish News from 2010 to 2012.
“The more people I met, the more opportunities I had to contribute — to assist with marketing, consulting, outreach, and strategic thinking,” Granot said.
At Cleveland State, he ran a yearly international study tour as part of the executive MBA program. Inspired by Start-up Nation, Dan Senor and Saul Singer’s book about Israel’s tech boom, he took 25 executive MBAs and five faculty members — including the president of the university — to Israel, a first at Cleveland State. Granot was able to connect the university with three universities in Israel — Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Ben Gurion — which eventually led to a memorandum of understanding. The study tour returned to Israel the following year.
“At a time when BDS was rampant on U.S. campuses, it was just the opposite at Cleveland State, since we were developing and deepening a relationship with Israeli institutions of higher education, with student and faculty exchanges,” he said.
At his new position, Granot will explore synergies between undergraduate and graduate programs.
“There is more demand in the market for undergrads to get graduate degrees; we are looking for ways we can provide that,” he said.
He is also looking to expand the travel destinations available for Rider’s executive MBA and notes that Israel is on the short list for this coming May. In November, an Israeli startup company will present at Rider.
Granot is particularly excited about Rider’s Center for Entrepreneurship. “We not only provide cutting-edge theory and academic content on entrepreneurship, but it allows students to interact with the real world,” he said. Rider also offers veterans a free program to prepare them for entrepreneurial careers.
Granot came to the United States at age eight and returned to Israel at age 14 for high school and military service. He studied English literature at Tel Aviv University and earned a master’s degree in management at Boston University and a PhD in marketing at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Before getting his doctorate, he spent two decades as a marketing executive for large multinational companies, including KPMG, Kaplan, and Herzliya Studios and also worked with many startups.
Granot’s family is still in Cleveland. Two sons attend college; one daughter is a junior in high school, and the other is a seventh-grader. Granot, who has an apartment in Lawrence about a mile from the Rider campus, usually commutes on the weekends back to Cleveland.