Jesse Abelman teaches in the Yesodot Skill-Building Program at Drisha. He is pursuing a PhD in Medieval Jewish History at Bernard Revel Graduate School and is a rabbinical student at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He received an MA in the Talmud Department of Yeshiva University. He served as a rabbinic intern for the Manhattan Jewish Experience.
Wendy Amsellem teaches in the Full Time Program, the high school program, and is the Director of the July College Kollel for women at Drisha. She is the former Director of the Dr. Beth Samuels High School Program and an alumna of the Drisha Scholars Circle. She is pursuing a PhD in Judaic Studies at New York University and has a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University.
Yitzhak Berger teaches in the Yesodot Skill-Building Program at Drisha. He is Associate Professor and Head of the Hebrew Division at Hunter College. He has a PhD in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School and ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He has taught Bible at Yeshiva College and Jewish Studies at the Yeshivah of Flatbush High School.
Rachel Friedman is Associate Dean and Chair of Tanakh Studies at Drisha. She also directs Drisha’s Yesodot Skill-Building Program. She has served as scholar-in-residence at synagogues and educational institutions throughout the United States and abroad. She has an MA in Bible from Yeshiva University and a JD from Columbia University School of Law.
Miriam Gedwiser teaches in the June and July Kollels and in Drisha's Yesodot Skill-Building Program. She has a BA from the University of Chicago in the History and Philosophy of Science, and a JD from NYU School of Law. She studied in the Drisha Scholars Circle as well as at other programs in Israel and Boston, and has taught at several New York area synagogues and Hillels. She practiced commercial litigation at a large law firm, and recently completed a judicial clerkship in the Southern District of New York.
Jon Kelsen is the Rosh Kollel and Director of the June Kollel and teaches in Drisha’s Full-TIme Programs. A graduate of the Pardes Kollel and a fellow in the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Hadarim Program, he received ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes and holds an MA in Jewish Civilization from the International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Rachel Rosenthal teaches in the Yesodot Skill-Building Program, the July College Kollel, and continuing education classes at Drisha and is a graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle. She is pursuing a PhD in Rabbinic Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She has worked on curriculum development and programming for a number of organizations and has taught throughout the east coast. She holds a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
David Silber is the Founder and Dean of Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. He received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He received the Covenant Award in 2000. He is the author of A Passover Haggadah: Go Forth and Learn (JPS, 2011).
Etta Abramson is pursuing a graduate degree in Education and Midrash at JTS as a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar. She has taught Jewish texts, cantillation and the intersection of arts and Jewish studies at BIMA, Beit Rabban and Drisha Institute, where she studied as an Arts Fellow in the Beit Midrash program. She is the director of Storahtelling’s B-Mitzvah program.
Josh Amaru teaches in Drisha's collegiate programs and has taught Talmud, halakha, Chumash, and Jewish thought at various yeshivot and seminaries in Israel. He studied for many years at Yeshivat Har Etzion, primarily with Rav Aharon Lichtenstein. He is presently in the process of completing his PhD in philosophy.
David Arnow has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Boston University. He is the author of Creating Lively Passover Seders: A Sourcebook of Engaging Tales, Texts, and Activities, and co-editor of and contributor to My People's Passover Haggadah, both published by Jewish Lights. He has published numerous articles on the haggadah in Jewish newspapers and scholarly journals.
Avigail Manekin Bamberger teaches in Drisha's high school program and is currently pursuing a PhD in Talmud at Tel Aviv University. She completed both her BA in Jewish Studies and Talmud and MA in Talmudat Hebrew University. She is a graduate ofthe Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and teaches Talmud at Pelech High School in Jerusalem.
Dan Baras has taught in the summer programs at Drisha and teaches in a variety of institutions including the ‘Havruta’ Beit Midrash program at Hebrew University. He is pursuing a PhD in Philosophy and is a graduate of Yeshivat Har Etzion. He is the founder of the Shevut Am volunteer project for integration of Ethiopian olim in Israeli society.
Sara Tova Brody has an MA in Gender Studies in Bar Ilan University and is a Fellowat Yeshivat Hadar. She is on the staff at Beit Midrash Erev in Jerusalem.
Jerome Chanes is a senior fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies, CUNY Graduate Center, the author or editor of four books on American Jewish history and public affairs, and has taught at the university level in the United States and abroad. His articles and reviews appear regularly in the Forward and The Jewish Week.
Avital Engelberg teaches in the Dr. Beth Samuels Summer High School Program. She is a graduate of the Advanced Halakhah Program at Midreshet Lindenbaum and is in the process of completing exams for the rabbanut. She holds a BA in Theater from Tel Aviv University and is currently pursuing her MA in Talmud and Halakhah at Bar Ilan University. She has taught at Hartman Girls High School, Beit Midrash Alma in Tel Aviv and Midreshet Ein Prat.
Yaffa Epstein teaches in Drisha's collegiate programs as well as Talmud, Jewish law, and Jewish Liturgy at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She holds a Law Degree from Bar Ilan University and is a member of the Israeli Bar. Yaffa was a former student of the Kollel at Pardes, and was a member of Matan's Advanced Talmud Institute. Yaffa has taught at SIACH, the Lookstein Center, Ta Shma and Young Judea Year Course. She was a member of the "Reshut Harabim" Beit Midrash, a think tank on Modern Orthodoxy in Israel, at the Yaakov Herzog Center. Yaffa is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Talmud at Hebrew University.
Esther Fisher teaches in Drisha's collegiate programs as well as Talmud and Jewish studies at Midreshet Ein Hanatziv in Israel and is a facilitator and co-founder of 'Nigun Nashim' - Women's Beit Midrash of the Elga Stulman Woman's Institute for Jewish Studies of Hamidrasha in Oranim (an Educational Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Israel). She has an MA in Talmud from Hebrew University and is currently pursuing a PhD at the Gender Department of Bar Ilan University. Her academic interests include rabbinic literature, midrash and halakha, and their relation to gender and feminist theory and thought.
David Flatto is an assistant professor of law, religion, and history at Penn State Law. He has a PhD in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and a JD from Columbia Law School, and received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He has written and lectured on Maimonides, Jewish legal philosophy, and the critical and historical study of rabbinics.
Ruth Balinsky Friedman teaches in Drisha's high school program. She graduated from Yeshivat Maharat, studied in Drisha’s Beit Midrash Program and Scholars Circle, and participated in the Collegiate and Graduate Student Immersion Program. She serves as Rosh Beit Midrash of Uri L’Tzedek, has been a Rabbinic Fellow at Or Tzedek, and has taught in a variety of settings in New York and Chicago. She has a BA in Psychology and Jewish Studies from Barnard College.
Talia Cottrell Furleiter taught in the Drisha Yesodot program and has an MA in Biblical and Talmudic Interpretation from Yeshiva University. She learned in Drisha’s Beit Midrash Program and has a BA in Politics and Religious Studies from New York University.
Rachel Furst is a PhD candidate in Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a visiting doctoral fellow at the Tikvah Center for Law and Jewish Civilization at NYU Law School. She received a BA in Medieval Studies from Barnard College and an MA in Jewish History from the Hebrew University and is a graduate of the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan. She is a lecturer at Matan, Jerusalem and has taught at various institutions in Israel and abroad.
Anne Gordon has taught in the summer programs at Drisha. She is an alumna of the Drisha Scholars Circle and has learned at the women’s batei midrash of Jerusalem. She is pursuing a PhD in Jewish Education. She has directed the Summer Program at Matan in Jerusalem and the Beit Midrash Program of Camp Morasha and has taught throughout the United States and abroad. She has an MA in Judaic Studies and a BA in History and Philosophy from Harvard University.
Dudi Goshen teaches in the July College Kollel, high school program, and continuing education classes at Drisha. He is a graduate of the Har Etzion and Mir Yeshivot and has studied Philosophy and Religion at the Hebrew University. He taught at the ‘Havruta’ Beit Midrash program at Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University.
Deena Grant is an assistant professor of Bible at Barry University. She received her BA from Brandeis University in Near Eastern and Jewish Studies and her PhD from New York University in Hebrew and Judaic Studies, with a focus on the Hebrew Bible in its ancient Near Eastern setting. She studied at Drisha, Hebrew University’s Institute for Advanced Studies and Midreshet Lindenbaum and has taught at Hofstra University and Drisha.
Amit Gvaryahu teaches in the July College Kollel, high school program, and continuing education classes at Drisha. He is an alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion and the Hebrew University. A past scholar-in-residence at the Paideia Institute for Jewish Studies in Stockholm, he is currently a graduate student in Talmud at the Hebrew University.
Nathaniel Helfgot is a Maggid Shiur in Talmud and Director of the Tanakh and Jewish Thought Departments at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. He also serves on the faculty of the SAR High School and is the rabbi of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Teaneck, NJ. An alumnus of the Jerusalem Fellows program, he received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and has an MA in Education from the David J. Azrieli Graduate School.
Gila Hoch is the Director of the Dr. Beth Samuels High School Program. She is a graduate of the Advanced Talmudic Institute in Matan and is currently pursuing an MA in Talmud at Bar Ilan University while teachingTalmud and halakha at Hartman Girls High School in Jerusalem.
Shalom Holtz teaches in the July College Kollel and is an Associate Professorof Bible at Yeshiva University. He has PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Harvard University in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.
Elie Holzer is an Assistant Professor at the School of Education at Bar Ilan University, a Research Associate at the Mandel Centerfor Jewish Studies in Jewish Education and a Research Fellow at the Advanced Institute for Jewish Studies at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He has a PhD in Jewish Philosophy and an MA in Jewish Thought from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Tammy Jacobowitz received her PhD in Midrash from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, and is a recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. A graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle, she has taught extensively in various communal settings throughout the New York and Philadelphia areas. She recently co-authored JOFA's gender-sensitive Shmot curriculum and is on the Rabbinics faculty for Me'ah NYC.
James Jacobson-Maisels teaches in the collegiate programs at Drisha as well as Jewish thought, mysticism, spiritual practices and meditation at the Hannaton Educational and Spiritual Center in the Galilee, The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and Yeshivat Hadar in New York City. He is pursuing a PhD at the University of Chicago in Jewish mysticism and has taught in a variety of settings in America and Israel on Judaism, Jewish mysticism and Jewish spiritual practices. He strives to integrate his study and practice and to help teach and live Judaism as a spiritual discipline.
Moshe Kahn taught Halakha in the Drisha Beit Midrash Program, is an instructor of Talmud and Halakha at Stern College for Women, the Graduate Program for Women in Advanced Talmudic Studies of Yeshiva University, and is a member-in-training to become a licensed psychoanalyst at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis in New York City. He received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
Ysoscher Katz is the Director of the Beit Midrash Program (preparatory year) at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. He received ordination from Rabbi Roth, dayan of UTA Satmer. He studied in Brisk and in Yeshivat Beis Joseph, Navaradok. A graduate of HaSha'ar Program for Jewish Educators, he has taught at the Ma'ayanot High School for Girls and S.A.R. High School.
Judy Klitsner is a senior lecturer at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she teaches Bible and biblical exegesis. She is the author of Subversive Sequels in the Bible: How Biblical Stories Mine and Undermine Each Other.
Aaron Koller is Assistant Dean of Yeshiva College and an associate professor of Bible at Yeshiva University. He is the author of The Ancient Hebrew Semantic Field of Cutting Tools (2012) and Esther in Ancient Judaism, a book forthcoming from Cambridge University Press on the politics of the book of Esther within ancient Jewish thought, as well as scholarly papers on Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, and rabbinic literature.
Yedidah Koren teaches in the July College Kollel, high school program, and continuing education classes at Drisha. She is currently studying in the Advanced Talmudic Institute at Matan Jerusalem, and is a member of the steering committee of Yeshivat Talpiot, an egalitarian yeshiva initiative in Jerusalem. She studied Talmud and Classics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and has also studied at Drisha, Migdal Oz, and Midreshet Lindenbaum. During the upcoming year, she and her husband will be the scholars in residence at the Paideia institute for Jewish studies in Stockholm.
Yael Leibowitz teaches in the July College Kollel. She serves on the Judaic Studies faculty at Stern College and is Resident Scholar at the Jewish Center of Manhattan. A graduate of Stern College, she has an MA in Judaic Studies from Columbia University. She has lectured extensively throughout the tristate area and around the country.
Menachem Leibtag is one of the pioneers of Torah education via the internet. He is the founder of Yeshivat Har Etzion’s Virtual Beit Midrash and more recently founded the Tanach Study Center. He also lectures at Midreshet Lindenbaum, MMY, Pardes and Orot College for Women.
Jonathan Milgram is Assistant Professor of Talmud at The Jewish Theological Seminary. His research interests and publications deal with the redaction of the Talmud and medieval Jewish Law. He is currently working on a book entitled, Reishit Ha-Bekhorah: Inheritance Law from Mesopotamia to the Mishna.
Ben-Zion Ovadia teaches in Drisha’s Coed Collegiate June Immersion Program and at the "Havruta" Beit midrash at the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus. He also edits books at Harav Shagar's Writings Institute. He is an MA student in general philosophy at the Hebrew University, writing a thesis on philosophy of language in the thought of Wittgenstein and his followers. He is also interested in cantorial and sepharadic liturgical music in the Sepharad-Yerushalyim tradition.
Anne Pettit is a graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle. She teaches Gemara, halakhah and Torah at Drisha and in Northern New Jersey, and writes Torah commentary for Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins' newsletter. She holds a JD from Fordham University School of Law and was a practicing attorney before undertaking full time Jewish learning.
Gavriel Porten is a tour guide and educator in Israel. He has a law degree from Bar Ilan University and a BA in Psychology and Jewish history from Hebrew University. He has also taught history at the Himmelfarb High School in Jerusalem.
Sandra E. Rapoport is an attorney, teacher, and the award-winning author of Biblical Seductions: Six Stories Retold Based on Talmud and Midrash. She is a familiar face at Drisha, where she has studied Torah and Talmud for over twenty-five years. She specializes in exploring the stories of the chumash giving voice to its female characters. She writes and speaks on the various subjects of law, terrorism, and Bible, and for the past seven years has taught a popular series on Women in the Bible at the Manhattan JCC. She was a Resident Scholar at Harvard University for the fall 2010 semester where she lectured on Bible and Midrash.
Daniel Reifman teaches in the July College Kollel, high school program, and continuing education classes at Drisha. He received ordination andan MA in Bible from Yeshiva University and has taught both in the Drisha Scholars Circle and at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He currently teaches at Midreshet Lindenbaum and is adoctoral student at Bar Ilan University.
Daniel Rhynhold teaches in the collegiate immersion programs and is Associate Professor of Modern Jewish Philosophy at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Yeshiva University. He is the author of Two Models of Jewish Philosophy: Justifying One’s Practices (2005) and An Introduction to Medieval Jewish Philosophy (2009).
Jennie Rosenfeld is the Scholar-in-Residence at SAR High School in Riverdale, NY. She has a PhD in English from the City University of New York Graduate Center, where she wrote her dissertation on “Talmudic Rereadings: Toward a Modern Orthodox Sexual Ethic” as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. A graduate of Stern College for Women, she completed the Yeshiva University Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies for Women along with an MS in Jewish Education at the Azrieli Graduate School. She was named one of the “36 under 36” by the Jewish Week in 2008 and recently co-authored “Et Le’ehov: The Newlywed’s Guide to Physical Intimacy.”
Alieza Salzberg is co-director and educator at Yeshivat Talpiot in Jerusalem. She is also a graduate student in rabbinic literature at Hebrew University and a fellow at the Hartman Institute’s Seder Nashim, Beit Midrash for Judaism and Gender. She is pursuing an MA in Talmud at Bar Ilan University. She graduated from the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan, has an MA in Creative Writing from City College and a BA in English and Psychology from Barnard College.
Ben Sandler is a software developer for Goldman Sachs and is pursuing an MA from New York University. He is a graduate of Yeshiva University and studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel. He is Co-Founder of Kumah, an organization which promotes North American aliyah.
Shuli Sandler is Director of the Bat Mitzvah and Beyond Program at Drisha and a graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle. She completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University. She lectures on a variety of Jewish topics throughout the tri-state area. She currently works in private practice with children and adults.
Shana Strauch Schick is a post-doctoral fellow at The Center for Inter-disciplinary Research of the Cairo Genizah at Haifa University and a shoelet u-meishivah at Midreshet Lindenbaum’s Women’s Halakhic Leadership Institute in Jerusalem. She received a PhD in Talmud and MA in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School at Yeshiva University. While pursuing her doctorate she completed the Graduate Program in Advanced Talmud at Stern College.
Joshua Schreier teaches in the Dr. Beth Samuels Summer High School Program. He teaches at Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem and has taught at Yeshivat Ohel Shlomo in Beer Sheva. He has a BA in History and an MS in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University. He received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
Dani Segal teaches in June Kollel and continuing education program at Drisha. He attended the Hesder Yeshiva, Har Etzion and served in the IDF as a paratrooper. He has a BA in Hebrew Literature from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, rabbinic ordination from the office of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and is pursuing an M A in Hebrew Literature from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the Community Rabbi of the Yishuv Alon - a heterogeneous Israeli community committed to secular-religious coexistence. He is a founding member of Ein Prat Academy of Leadership, an educational secular-religious program for pre and post army participants, and is the founder and director of Desert Premarital Retreats- specializing in communication in marriage.
Yehuda Septimus is the Rabbi of the Young Israel of North Woodmere. This year he is also serving as an assistant adjunct professor at Brooklyn College. He has a PhD and an MA in Classical Jewish history and literature from Yale University, and received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
Ben Skydell teaches in the July College Kollel, high school program, and continuing education classes at Drisha. He is the Rabbi of Congregation Orach Chaim in Manhattan. He is also an Instructor of Judaic Studies at the North Shore Hebrew Academy of Great Neck, New York. He received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
Erin Leib Smokler is a Claims Conference Advanced Shoah Studies Fellow at the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She is also an instructor of Jewish Philosophy at Drisha and Yeshivat Maharat. Erin holds an MA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Harvard University. Her writing appears regularly in JOFA's Shema Bekolah, and has also been featured in The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, The Jerusalem Report, and The New York Jewish Week.
Devora Steinmetz teaches in the June Kollel and has taught Talmud and rabbinics at Drisha Institute, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Havruta, and Yeshivat Hadar. She is the author of From Father to Son: Kinship, Conflict, and Continuity in Genesis and Punishment and Freedom: The Rabbinic Construction of Criminal Law. She is the founder of the Beit Rabban Day School, profiled in Daniel Pekarsky's book Vision at Work: The Theory and Practice of Beit Rabban. She currently serves as an educational consultant for the Mandel Foundation, focusing on leadership development programs for rabbinical students and young rabbis, and works at Gould Farm, a therapeutic community serving adults with mental illness.
Aviva Stern has taught in the Dr. Beth Samuels Summer High School Program. She has an MA in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School and a BA from Stern College. She learned at Stern’s Graduate Program for Biblical and Talmudic Interpretation, and teaches Judaic Studies at Yeshiva Har Torah.
Victoria Sutton teaches in the Dr. Beth Samuels Summer High School Program and is a third year student at Yeshivat Maharat. A graduate of Barnard College, with a BA in Biological Sciences, she also holds a Grand Diploma in Pastry Arts from the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. She is currently the intern for synagogue education at Ohav Sholom in Merrick, NY and an educational intern at SAR High School.
Devorah Wolf teaches in the Dr. Beth Samuels High School Programs. She teaches Talmud, and is a Special Services Assistant at Ma’ayanot. She is pursuing an MA in English Literature at Hunter College, has a BA from Barnard College, and is a graduate of the Stern Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies. She has also studied at Drisha Institute, Bernard Revel Graduate School, and Pardes Institute.
David Wolkenfeld is co-director of the Jewish Learning Initiative at Princeton University. He has studied at Yeshivat Hamivtar, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and Yeshivat Har Etzion. He earned a BA in Intellectual History from Harvard University and has completed coursework in Medieval History at Bernard Revel Graduate School.
Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld teaches in the Drisha summer programs and is the director of education at the Center for Jewish Life - Hillel at Princeton University, where she and her husband David serve as the OU Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus Jewish educators. She holds a BA in Judaica and Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, and has studied Talmud and Jewish Law at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Drisha, Pardes, Nishmat, and Beit Morashah. Sara has taught at The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, NY, at United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston, TX, where she was an intern for two years, and as a Beit Midrash Fellow at S.A.R. Academy in Riverdale, NY. She also teaches Hilkhot Nidah to brides and engaged couples.
Hayyim Angel is the National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. He has published over 100 scholarly articles and is author or editor of ten books. He previously served as Rabbi at Congregation Shearith Israel of New York. He has an MA in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School, an MS in Jewish Education from the Azrieli School of Jewish Education at Yeshiva University and received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
Leora Batnitzky is Ronald O. Perelman Professor of Jewish Studies and Chair of the Department of Religion at Princeton University. Her teaching and research interests include philosophy of religion, modern Jewish thought, hermeneutics, and contemporary legal and political theory. She is co-editor of Jewish Studies Quarterly and directs Princeton's Tikvah Project on Jewish Thought. She is the author of Idolatry and Representation: The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered (Princeton, 2000), Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation (Cambridge, 2006), and How Judaism Became a Religion: An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought (Princeton, 2011).
Elana Bell is a poet, performer and educator. She was a Drisha Arts Fellow from 2007 to 2008. Her first collection of poetry, Eyes, Stones was selected by Fanny Howe as the winner of the 2011 Walt Whitman Award. Elana is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the Edward Albee Foundation and the AROHO Foundation and currently serves as the writer-in-residence for the Bronx Academy of Letters.
Adele Berlin taught in the Winter Week 2011 program and is the Robert H. Smith Professor of Bible Emerita at University of Maryland. Her special interests are literary approaches to the Bible and the theory and practice of biblical interpretation. She has published seven books, written over thirty scholarly articles, and edited three books.
David Bigman is the Rosh HaYeshiva at Yeshivat Ma'ale Gilboa. He received his BA in economics with honors from Wayne State University and studied in Yeshivat Merkaz Harav and in Yeshivat Netzech Yisrael (with Rabbi Yisroel Zev Gustman) and received smicha at Mechon Ariel in Haifa.
Dror Bondi teaches Jewish Thought a variety of locations in Israel, including Ein Prat. He is pursuing a PhD in Jewish thought at Bar-Ilan University. His first book, on the teachings and writings of Heschel, won the Shalem Prize upon its publication in 2008. His second book, the translation of a collection of Heschel's writings, is to be published by Kinneret Zmora-Bitan.
Alex Braver is a rabbinic fellow at B'nai Jeshurun and a third-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He has also served as a student chaplain, studied at Yeshivat Hadar, and tutored remedial math and English at a charter school in Boston. He graduated from Brandeis University in 2009 with majors in History and Politics.
David Brodsky is assistant professor and co-chair of the department of Rabbinic civilization at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He teaches courses on Talmud, Midrash and other aspects of rabbinic literature and civilization.
Lise Brown is a musician and composer. She was a Drisha Arts Fellow from 2007 to 2009 and has continued to study here. As well as composing Jewish music, she performs on flute and saxophone in dance music genres: Latin, swing, and most recently Irish-based contra dance music. She leads an eight-piece Irish-Latin-swing band called Big Bandemonium which has performed coast to coast in the US at major music festivals and dance camps.
Eliezer Diamond is the Rabbi Judah Nadich Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He is the author of many popular and scholarly articles, including a chapter on the rabbinic period in theSchocken Guide to Jewish Books and articles in the Reader's Guide to Judaism. He is the author of Holy Men and Hunger Artists: Fasting and Asceticism in Rabbinic Culture, published in 2003 by Oxford University Press. He received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and a PhD in Talmud from JTS.
Ben Elton is a rabbinic student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University and Rabbinic Intern at the
Nicole Fix was an arts fellow at Drisha for two years. She received an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant and has been awarded fellowships from Can Serrat International Artist Residency and Summer Literary Seminars. Selected publications include Post Road Magazine, Go Magazine and The Cup Project, an Australian-based publication. Nicole earned her masters at the Yale School of Drama.
Jeffrey Fox teaches in the Scholars Circle Beit Midrash, Yesodot, and Arts Fellowship programs. He is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Maharat. He received ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and served as the spiritual leader of Kehilat Kesher in Tenafly, NJ.
Daniel Fridman is the Resident Scholar at the Jewish Center. An alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion, he has a degree in Biological Sciences from Columbia University. He is a rabbinic student at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
Dasi Fruchter thrives on spiritual leadership, community building, and faith-driven social justice work and conflict resolution. Originally from Silver Spring, MD, she is now a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar studying to be ordained as clergy at Yeshivat Maharat, the first institution to train Orthodox Jewish women as spiritual leaders and halakhic (Jewish law) authorities. Dasi is also studying at New York University towards a MPA at the Wagner School for Public Service and an M.A. in Jewish Studies. Dasi has had experience organizing for economic justice with organizations such as JOIN for Justice and Uri L'Tzedek and is a presenter on Judaism, social justice, feminism and conflict resolution at synagogues, schools, and conferences.
Stephen A. Geller is the Irma Cameron Milstein Chair of Bible at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He teaches courses in biblical literature, with special emphasis on the Book of Psalms, biblical poetry, and the prophets. He has published numerous books and articles on biblical language, poetry, literature and religion.
Dyonna Ginsburg is the Director of Jewish Service Learning at the Jewish Agency. She has an MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University and a BA in Political Science from Columbia University. She was awarded the World Council of Jewish Communal Service’s Ted Comet Exemplar Award for Outstanding Leadership in Strengthening the Jewish People in 2008.
Ari Goldman is a professor of journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where he directs the Scripps Howard Program in Religion, Journalism and the Spiritual Life. He is the author of numerous articles and three books including the best-selling The Search for God at Harvard.
Yitz Greenberg was the founding president of CLAL- the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. He served as Rabbi of the Riverdale Jewish Center, as Associate Professor of History at Yeshiva University, and as founder, chairman and Professor in the Department of Jewish Studies of City College of the City University of New York.
Eve Grubin was an Arts Fellow at Drisha from 2005-2007, and ran the Arts Fellowship Programfrom 2007-2009. Her book of poems, Morning Prayer,was published by the Sheep Meadow Press, and herpoems and essays have appeared or are forthcomingin many publications. She was the Programs Directorat the Poetry Society of America and has taughtpoetry at The New School University and the CityCollege of New York. She is the poet in residence atthe London School of Jewish Studies, she is a tutor atthe Poetry School, and she teaches Creative Writingat New York University in London.
Stu Halpern, EdD, has a BA from the Universityof Pennsylvania, MA in Psychology in Education fromTeachers College at Columbia University, MA in Biblefrom the Bernard Revel Graduate School of JewishStudies and a PhD from the Azrieli Graduate School ofJewish Education and Administration. He is the co-editorof the Mitokh Ha-Ohel series, and editor of the DerashotLeDorot series, both published by Koren Publishers.
Ari Hart is the co-founder of Uri L'Tzedek, Associate Rabbi at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, and Director of Admissions and Recruitment for Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School.
Shira Hecht-Koller is the Director of Interdisciplinary Programs and Instructor of Talmud at the North Shore Hebrew Academy High School. She received her BA from Yeshiva University and was a Golding Scholar at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where she received her JD and was an Associate Editor of the Cardozo Law Review. She is a graduate of the Bruriah Scholars Program at Midreshet Lindenbaum and has completed post-graduate work at the Bernard Revel Graduate School, Yeshiva University.
Sam Intrator studied at Ner Israel Rabbinical College, Yeshivat Derech Chaim, and Yeshiva Kol Yaacov, where he received his Rabbinic ordination. He also received ordination from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach Zt”l. He served as the Assistant Rabbi and then Senior Rabbi at Congregation Kehillat Jacob (Carlebach Shul). He now heads the Kavanah Life, an organization dedicated to raising spiritual consciousness in prayer and ritual, and is currently writing extensively on the deeper meaning of prayer. He is also the Rabbi at the Ocean Pavilion Synagogue in Miami Beach. He has led hundreds of Shabbatons and lectured throughout the United States, Israel and Europe where he has touched Jews from all backgrounds.
Alex Israel serves as Director of Community Education and the Summer Program at Pardes Institute and teaches at Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi,Orot College for Women, and Emunah VeOmanut, Jerusalem. He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion, holds degrees from the Institute of Education at the London School of Economics and Bar Ilan University, and received ordination from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.
Leon Kass is chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics, the Addie Clark Harding Professor, Committee on Social Thought, the University of Chicago, and Hertog Fellow in Social Thought, American Enterprise Institute. He has published widely in Biomedical Ethics, Science and Human Affairs, Philosophy, and Social Thought. He is the author of The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis.
Alexander Kaye is the Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun. He studied in Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshiva University and received ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He has a BA and MPhil from the University of Cambridge and is currently writing his dissertation for his doctorate at Columbia University about the intellectual history of Religious Zionism.
Rachel Keren is a senior lecturer of Midreshet Ein ha-Natziv and the director of educational development at the Midrasha. She has a B.A and M.A from Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Jewish philosophy and history and is a graduate of the School for
Amanda Sugarman Klatt graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English and Judaic Studies. After that, she spent a year in Israel, working at Midreshet Lindenbaum and Midreshet Amit, and learning at Matan. She teaches Tanakh at SAR High School.
Gilah Kletenik is the Congregational Scholar at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Manhattan's Upper East Side, where she is also a Talmud and Judaism instructor at the Ramaz Upper School. She received an MA in Biblical and Talmudic Interpretation, and is completing a second Masters degree in Jewish Philosophy, both at Yeshiva University. In 2010, Gilah was selected as one of The Jewish Week's "36 under 36," which acknowledges young Jewish leaders reimagining Jewish life and in 2011, was the recipient of The Covenant Foundation's inaugural Pomegranate Prize for emerging Jewish educators.
Judah Kraut is a doctoral candidate in Bible in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Director of Above the Curve Professional Tutoring.
Yael Leibowitz serves on the Judaic studies faculty at Stern College and is a Resident Scholar at The Jewish Center on the upper west side. A graduate of Stern College, she has an MA in Judaic Studies from Columbia University. She taught at Ramaz Upper School and has lectured extensively throughout the tri-state area and around the country.
Jon Levenson is the Albert A. List Professorof Jewish Studies at Harvard University. His book Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: TheUltimate Victory of the God of Life (Yale University Press, 2006) won a National Jewish Book Award and the Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Award in the category of Best Book Relating to the Hebrew Bible published in 2005 or 2006. His most recent book is Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Princeton University Press, 2012). His work concentrates onthe interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, including its reinterpretations in the “rewritten Bible” of SecondTemple Judaism and rabbinic midrash.
Dov Linzer studied for many years at Yeshivat Har Etzion, was a member of Yeshiva University’s Gruss Kollel Elyon, and received his ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate. He is a recipient of the Javits Graduate fellowship, and a doctoral candidate in Religion at Columbia University. He headed the Boca Raton Kollel for the first two-and-a-half years of its existence, giving classes to the rabbis of the Kollel, and lecturing throughout the South Florida communities. He has published Halakha and machshava articles in Torah journals and lectures widely at synagogues and conferences on topics relating to Halakha, Orthodoxy, and modernity. Rabbi Linzer spearheaded the development of the YCT Rabbinical School curriculum into an innovative four year semikha program which provides its students with rigorous halakhic study and sophisticated professional training in the context of a religious atmosphere which cultivates openness and inclusiveness. In addition to overseeing the Yeshiva's Torah curriculum, he teaches advanced Halakha in a broad range of areas across all four sections of the Shulchan Aruch – including Kashrut, Ishut and Niddah, and Shabbat and Eruvin. Rabbi Linzer teaches advanced classes in Talmud and a year-long class in Contemporary Challenges of Modern Orthodoxy.
Shari Lowin is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College where she teaches about Islam and Judaism. She has a PhD from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. She is the author of The Making of a Forefather: Abraham in Islamic and Jewish Exegetical Narratives.
Rolando Matalon is the Rabbi at Congregation Bnai Jeshurun in Manhattan. He received ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary from which he has a Masters of Hebrew Letters. He has a BS in Chemistry from the Universite de Montreal.
Hindy Najman is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and the Program of Judaic Studies at Yale University. She is the Associate Editor for the Journal for the Study of Judaism Supplement Series and is on the editorial boards of Journal of Hebrew Studies and Dead Sea Discoveries. She has taught at the University of Toronto and the University of Notre Dame. She has a PhD from Harvard University where she wrote her dissertation on Authoritative Writing and Interpretation: A Study in the History of Scripture. She learned at Drisha while pursuing her undergraduate degree at Stern College.
Mira Niculescu is a full time student and Arts Fellow at Drisha. She is pursuing her PhD at the ‘Ecole de Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales ‘(EHESS) in Paris with the ‘Centre d’Etudes Interdisciplinaires du Fait Religieux’ (CEIFR). She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the ‘Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies’ at Columbia University in New York.
Rute Yair Nussbaum teaches Chassidut in Matan, Jerusalem, in Maale (the religious film school) and in Yakar Tel-aviv. She has a BA in Jewish Philosophy and Jewish History from Hebrew University and is pursuing a PhD in Jewish Philosophy and Mysticism in NYU.
Michael Paley is the Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar in Residence at the Jewish Resource Center of UJA-Federation of New York. He also teaches at the Columbia School of Journalism, City College, and the Ivry Prozdor High School of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Newsweek magazine named him one of the 50 most influential rabbis. Prior to his arrival at UJA-Federation, Rabbi Paley was a professor of Jewish studies and dean at Bard College, and vice president of the Wexner Heritage Foundation, where he remains a member of the permanent faculty. For many years, Rabbi Paley served as the university chaplain at Columbia University. He also founded the Edgar M. Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, a program that brings together outstanding students from diverse Jewish backgrounds. Prior to the Bronfman Youth Fellowships, Rabbi Paley served as the Jewish chaplain at Dartmouth College. Rabbi Paley earned his bachelor's degree at Brandeis University and graduate degrees in Jewish and Islamic philosophy and science at Temple University. He was ordained at Yeshivat B'nai Or and was a student at Yeshivat Hamivtar in Jerusalem. At UJA-Federation, he lectures on a wide variety of subjects, including the weekly Torah portion, prayer and Jewish history, Jewish ethics, and Islam.
Ronnie Perelis is the Chief Rabbi Dr. Isaac Abraham and Jelena Alcalay Assistant Professor of Sephardic Studies at the Bernard Revel Graduate School. He received his PhD from NYU, writing on the topic of the history and literature of the Marranos. His research and teaching focus on the nexus of Hispanic and Jewish culture in Iberia and the New World. He is currently writing a study of family and identity in the Sephardic Atlantic world.
Simi Peters is a Nishmat scholar of Tanakh and Midrash. She has an MA in Linguistics from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York and is a graduate of the Jerusalem Fellows Program of the Mandel School of Leadership at Hebrew University. She is the author of Learning to Read Midrash as well as several articles on Midrash and education.
Jonathan Sarna is the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and Chief Historian of the new National Museum of American Jewish History. He chairs the Academic Advisory and Editorial Board of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati. He has written, edited, or co-edited more than twenty books.
Yehuda Sarna serves as a University Chaplain for NYU and Rabbi of the Bronfman Center, which he joined in 2002. He and his wife, Michelle, also serve as the Educators for the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus, a program of the Orthodox Union. Rabbi Sarna was awarded the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence from Hillel International in 2008, and was listed as one of "36-under-36 Changemakers" by the Jewish Week in 2009. He and Michelle live with their four children, Batya, Maayan, Moshe, and David in Gramercy Green, an NYU residence hall.
Basya Schechter is a Drisha Arts Fellow alumnae and received a BA in English Literature from Barnard College. She is the band leader of Pharaoh's Daughter, which blends a psychedelic sensibility and a pan-Mediterranean sensuality. She leads her band through swirling Hasidic chants, Mizrachi, and Sephardi folk-rock, and spiritual stylings filtered through percussion, flute, strings and electronica. Her sound has been cultivated by her Hasidic music background and a series of trips to the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan and Greece.
Chaim Seidler-Feller has been UCLA’s Hillel Director for thirty-four years. He received ordination and a Masters in Rabbinic Literature from Yeshiva University. He is a lecturer in the Departments of Sociology and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA and is a faculty member of the Shalom Hartman Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and of the Wexner Heritage Foundation. He was a founding member of Americans for Peace Now and serves on the Rabbinic Cabinet of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom.
Joe Septimus is president of Septimus Consulting, Inc., and CFO of Meridian Residential Capital, LLC. Joe teaches Torah on Shabbos morning at Darkhei Noam and at various adult education venues including Limmud NY, Central Synagogue, Drisha, and the JCC Tikkun. Joe has an MBA from NYU, a BA in Philosophy, studied at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin and Kerem B’Yavneh, and is a Wexner Heritage alum. He is the author of the recently published essay: Spiritual Physics in the Art and Teachings of Hanan Harchol.
Marc B. Shapiro holds the Weinberg Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Scranton and is the author of various books and articles on Jewish history, philosophy, and theology. He received a BA from Brandeis University and PhD from Harvard University.
Eliza Slavet is a Drisha Arts Fellow alumna and creative non-fiction writer. She is the Associate Director for Art and Technology at Sixth College, University of California San Diego. She has a PhD in Literature from UC San Diego and an MM in Oboe Performance from Yale University. In her book, Racial Fever: Freud and the Jewish Question (Fordham University Press, Fall 2009) she explores Freud’s theory of Jewishness as a racial theory of memory, particularly as he developed it in his final book Moses and Monotheism.
Natan Slifkin has an MA in Jewish Studies from the Lander Institute in Jerusalem and is pursuing a PhD in Jewish History at Bar-Ilan University. He received ordination at Ohr Somayach Institutions. He teaches an extensive course in Judaism, Science and Zoology at Yeshivat Lev HaTorah in Ramat Bet Shemesh, and guest lectures at synagogues worldwide. He has written numerous books on the topic of Judaism and the natural sciences.
Benjamin Sommer is a Professor of Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a member of the Convergence and Divergence in the Study of the Pentateuch research group, at the Tikvah Center for Jewish Law and Civilization at the New York University School of Law and at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.
Heather Stoltz was a Drisha Arts Fellow for two years. One of the Jewish Week 36 Under 36 for 2012, she creates quilted wall hangings and fabric sculptures inspired by classic Jewish texts and social justice issues. Her work has been shown at many venues and in several publications. She has a BA in Jewish Studies and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College and an MA in Jewish Women’s Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Shuli Taubes teaches Tanakh and Machshevet Yisrael at SAR High School. She has a Masters in Divinity from the Harvard Divinity School, where she focused on Scripture and Interpretation.
Jeffrey Tigay is Emeritus A.M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a BA in Ancient History from Columbia, Master of Hebrew Literature and Rabbinical Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Comparative Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies from Yale.
Miriam Udel is Assistant Professor at Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University. She has a PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. She is the recipient of their Starr Fellowship in Judaica for 2010-2011.
Avie Walfish is renowned in the world of Jewish Studies for his innovative studies of Mishnah and other classic rabbinic texts. His publications include, alongside his pioneering studies of Mishnah and Talmud, explorations of a variety of topics in the fields of Biblical study, Midrash, halakhah, contemporary Jewish thought, and Jewish education. He heads the MA program in Jewish Studies at Michlala College in Jerusalem and serves as senior instructor in Talmud and Jewish Thought at Herzog College.
Ruth Walfish is the head of the Tanakh Department at Efrata Teacher’s College in Jerusalem, and a consultant in Tanakh for the Lookstein Center for Jewish Education at Bar Ilan University. She has a PhD in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University. She serves on the editorial board of the Jewish Bible Quarterly, a journal published in Jerusalem dedicated to Tanakh studies.
Ari Weiss is the Director of Uri L’Tzedek. A frequent scholar-in-residence, he has taught at foundations, synagogues, and on campuses nationwide. He was recently selected as a Joshua Venture Group fellow. He received his rabbinical ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in June 2007.
Sarah Wolf was shoelet u'meishiva for the Beth Samuels High School Program last summer. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Rabbinic Judaism at Northwestern University. Sarah has spent time studying at Yeshivat Hadar, JTS, and Hebrew University. She received her BA in Literature from Yale University.
Shmuel Wygoda is the Director of Herzog Teachers' College at Alon-Shevut in Israel and the Academic Director of the New Horizons for Jewish Educatorsproject for senior educators from religious high schools. Dr. Wygoda also directs the Channels of Knowledge project for heads of hesder yeshivot.
Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg is the author of several books and articles including The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious, Genesis: The Beginning of Desire, and the forthcoming Book of Numbers (Schocken, 2014). She holds a BA and PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University. After teaching English literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she turned to teaching Torah and has taught in Jerusalem at Matan, Yakar, Pardes and the Jerusalem College for Adults. She holds a Visiting Lectureship at the London School of Jewish Studies. She travels widely, lecturing in Jewish, academic and psychoanalytic settings.