Our alumni are...
Building a World of Hesed
Ariela Sharon Yomtovian
Birth Torah will provide birth workers serving Jewish clients with a spiritual framework for their practices. The series aims to give the birth workers tangible tools with which they can assist their clients from conception through the postpartum period. Through Birth Torah, we hope to move from fear-based birthing experiences to faith-based birthing experiences.
I believe that through our bodies, we can touch our souls. My work in this world is to elevate the female voice through learning and living Torah. I am specifically passionate about healthcare and wellness. I am an herbalist, bodyworker, educator, and doula. I have studied at ArborVitae, Manzanita Wellness, The Eden Center, Hadar Institute and with Robin Elise Weiss. In addition to one-on-one services, I offer workshops on herbalism, yoga, Birth Torah and Judaism. I have taught in collaboration with Imeinu Doulas, Moishe House, Hadar Institute, The Jewish Studio Project and more.
Beit Midrash Shemitah
Beit Midrash Shemitah is one of the projects of the revamped "Maagalei Tzedek" organization. As we get closer the shemitah year, which will take place in 5788, we are working towards building a Beit Midrash where young men and women will learn Jewish sources about shemitah. By becoming acquainted with these sources, we will try to think of how we can uphold the social and religious values from the ideas surrounding shemitah in the modern world.
Tahel Lau is the leader of "Maagalei Tzedek" revamped organization. She studied at the Natur Beit Midrash and at the Women’s' Beit Midrash in Migdal Oz. She is currently a student of Shalem College, studying Jewish thought and philosophy. She currently lives in Kfar Adumim.
Practicing Sustainable and Ethical Consumption
Eitana Friedman-Nathan and Rana Bickel
We live in a world of excess consumption. Yet, as Jews, the way in which we are taught to live on this Earth and with other beings explicitly contradicts the logic of a consumerist society. We will be exploring the Jewish foundations for disengaging with unethical practices, such as fast-fashion, and provide frameworks and practices to help people begin to practice ethical consumption.
Eitana Friedman-Nathan (she/her) is an Alumna of Hadar Summer 2017. She graduated from Wesleyan University this past spring with degrees in English and Philosophy. Eitana lives in Washington Heights and works in the Civil Action Practice at The Bronx Defenders.
Rana Bickel (she/her) is a senior at Barnard College studying Urban Studies. In her free time, she enjoys learning tanach, writing poetry, vegetarian shabbos meals, and walking in Riverside park.
Kehilar Mussar at The Institute for Holiness
Rabbi Chasya Uriel Steinbauer
Rabbi Chasya founded Kehilat Mussar at The Institute for Holiness in Kibbutz Hannaton, Israel. She serves as Director and sought out Hadar's financial and spiritual support to launch her initiative to bring Mussar to the world and to also create a smaller cadre of practitioners dedicated to the daily practice of Mussar. With Hadar's support, she will begin offering Mussar Va'adim to communities throughout the world on Zoom. One e-course began already with faculty member Dr. Eliora Peretz in French; and two more Mussar Va'adim are set to begin in mid-January on Zoom, led by Rabbi Chasya. When the pandemic ceases, B"H, Rabbi Chasya and faculty will offer both online and in-person classes, groups, and retreats in Israel, Europe, and the US.
Rabbi Chasya Uriel Steinbauer has studied and practiced Mussar and facilitated Mussar groups since 2001. She founded and taught the Ladder Va'ad at the JCC Manhattan from 2005-2013 and from 2008-2011, she coordinated The Mussar Institute's Manchim Advanced Facilitator Training program. In 2009, she founded and taught the first egalitarian Mussar Va'ad in Jerusalem at the Conservative Yeshiva. Currently, she directs Kehilat Mussar at the Institute for Holiness in Israel, which she founded. She has been married to Ahava Steinbauer for 22 years and is blessed with two children, ages 7 and 10. She is an artist, writer, and Mindfulness Meditation practitioner and teacher.
Hadar Alumni Anti-Racism Training
Alona Weimer and Allen Lipson
Responding to Black Lives Matter, Yeshivat Hadar alumni facilitators have begun supporting seventy alumni as we build our power to learn and act towards anti-racist futures. Alumni pair into local chaburot to support each other in the ongoing work of racial justice in our communities over the coming months.
Alona Weimer is a white Ashkenazi organizer, educator, and archive enthusiast. Alona received her B.A. in Black Studies and attended Yeshivat Hadar in 2019.
Allen Lipson is a rabbinical student at Hebrew College, a former faith-based and labor organizer, and an alum of Hadar's year program and the Columbia/JTS Joint Program.
Reimagining Torah Through Art and Fiction
This family collaboration, Bezallel Koli, is a Torah and Art pilot project, which seeks to create a collection of weekly Divrei Torah combined with a visual artwork, a song, and a poem, all in dialogue with each other and the words of Torah. The larger aim is to broaden parshanut into an artistic endeavor and inspire others to do the same, thereby creating connections between Jewish artists and revitalizing the ways in which we can engage in Torah interpretation. Making consistent art based on the Torah portion, in different mediums, will invite new platforms and contemporary voices to the conversation.
The Handmade Midrash method (developed by Jo Milgrom) uses beginner-level visual art techniques to internalize biblical text. After studying a text in havruta, workshop participants each create piece of art in response to a prompt. The tactile act of making, using your hands and body, makes Torah learning a tangible experience. This tactile, visual and creative response to text opens the creator to new understandings.
Amalya Sherman (pronouns: she/her) is an artist with a background in education and facilitation. She regularly hosts Torah + Art workshops, and has facilitated community body paint workshops across the country. (Instagram @amalya.sherman) Amalya currently works as a Programs Associate at the Hartman Institute. Previously, she served as a high school English teacher, and worked at the Smithsonian Institute’s Hirshhorn Museum where she developed and executed public tours. Amalya earned her BA in Studio Art from the University of Maryland in 2016. She was a Hadar Fellow in 2017-18. Amalya enjoys painting, debating public policies, and spending time with loved ones while not debating public policies.
The Rabbi Who Prayed with Fire
"The Rabbi Who Prayed with Fire" is a self-published mystery novel that explores a key question at the heart of progressive, traditional Jewish life: How do we balance the needs, hopes and fears of those within the four walls of our Jewish community versus those in our broader geographic context? It’s a mix of Torah, politics, a queer love story, and the trappings of a classic whodunnit. The hope for the project is to grow the readership of this story and seed dynamic conversations around its themes.
By day, Rachie Lewis is the Director of Synagogue Organizing at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston. In her time there, she has organized Jewish involvement in efforts to reduce gun violence, advocate for more affordable housing and support people in immigration detention in Massachusetts. It is these experiences, along with the fortuitous discovery of a tattered copy of “Friday the Rabbi Slept Late” by Harry Kemelman—and proximity to way too many rabbis—that has led to her write a mystery novel with a queer, young rabbi named Vivian Green at its center.
Poetry of the Techines in VR
Explore a series of virtual worlds inspired by the techines, Yiddish women's prayers. Each world will be accompanied by a contemporary poetic interpretation of a techina and provide a walkthrough of an evocative virtual landscape, exploring the setting of the prayer and its poetic interpretation. The experience will be viewable in an online format and hopefully also on select VR headsets.
Parashah Poetry Booklet
This booklet is a compilation of parashah poems by several Hadar alumni, accompanied by artistic renditions and the pesukim, midrashim, perushim, etc. that inspired the work. This compilation is meant to be equal parts education and entertainment--a way of engaging meaningfully and artistically with the parashah and its emotional resonances, while potentially discovering stories, drashot, and perspectives one hadn't previously encountered. The pamphlet will ideally be distributed in both virtual and physical form, in addition to community readings and creative sessions.
Lexie Botzum (YH Summer '18) lives in Jerusalem and studies Torah at a wonderful array of institutions. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in spring 2019 with a bachelor's in Political Science and International Studies, and has since spent her time attempting to learn Torah lishma for as long as humanly feasible. She is passionate about learning, reading, writing, dancing, justice work, her cat Bissel, and cheese bourekas.
Bringing Jewish Music Alive
Frum Where?: Songs of love and yearning from my upbringing
This collection is an outpouring of love for the songs of my Ashkenazi Modern Orthodox upbringing. They are melodies that touch my neshama deeply, and speak to the fervor, potency and beauty of the frumkeit I grew up with. I hope this collection can serve as a pathway to encountering and accessing these gems for those who have not had access to this music. It also feels powerful to create and share these recordings in my own voice, as a queer woman who identifies as frum and is committed to a liberatory and ever-changing relationship with halacha as a part of that frumkeit.
Batya Levine uses song as a tool for cultivating healing and resilience in her work as a communal song leader, shaliach tzibur (Jewish prayer leader) and cultural organizer. She’s a co-founder of Let My People Sing!, and she offers song, ritual, and workshops in a variety of communities. Batya composes original music made of yearning, queer heart-medicine, and emunah (faith). She released her first album, Karov, in Elul 5780. Batya is also a lover of the ocean, queer dance parties, and puns. You can check out more about her work and music at www.batyalevine.com.
A Queer Nigun Project
Rena Branson and Ari Pomerantz
A Queer Nigun Project uplifts personal healing and collective resilience through the practice of singing nigunim (mostly-wordless melodies). We host monthly singing gatherings for LGBTQIA+ folks in non-pandemic times, and have shifted to Zoom for the foreseeable future, with a Facebook Livestream for allies to tune in. We are continuing to grow our Soundcloud archive of Jewish melodies recorded and/or composed by queer people. We previously coordinated volunteers to lead nigun circles alongside chaplains in NYC jails, and have adapted our project to send recordings of nourishing music and words of Torah to people who are incarcerated. To contribute to this project, please email Ari at [email protected]!
Rena Branson is a Jewish educator, musician, and composer based in Philadelphia. She is among few women in the world who publicly teach and record Hasidic nigunim, expanding access to their power for people in the broader Jewish community. She has taught workshops weaving nigunim with Torah study and meditation in synagogues, nursing homes, jails, and various retreats. You can hear her recordings of traditional and original music on Soundcloud, including a work-in-progress to compose a full set of Kabbalat Shabbat melodies this year, b'ezrat Hashem!
Ari Pomerantz helps run the jail component of the Queer Nigun Project. He was a Hadar fellow in Summer 2017, Year 2017-2018, and 2018-2019.
Bnei Korach: A Musical Storytelling Podcast
Bnei Korach is Jewish musical storytelling podcast that aims to reinvigorate a contemporary diaspora storytelling tradition. In short bite sized episodes, I will share strange and overlooked Jewish stories with a live musical accompaniment. The podcast will focus on often ignored narratives and myths from Tanakh, long forgotten midrashim and unusual folk tales from across the Jewish diaspora.
Sam Tygiel is a musician, composer, storyteller and rabbinical student who draws on the rich narrative and musical traditions of Judaism to create emotional openings for people to discover connection, curiosity and healing. His teaching and storytelling draw from ancient material to paint pictures of Jewish mythology that expand notions of what is normative, permissible, and possible within contemporary Jewish imagination. Through stories and music Sam both uplifts communities and individuals and challenges them to face the parts of Judaism and parts of themselves that feel wild, mess and scary.
Isabel Bard and Naomi Klionsky
We want to widen and ease the path to proficient shlichut tzibbur. We will collect and curate recordings of tefillah and kriat haTorah which aren’t currently easy to find, using this information to identify gaps which we’ll endeavor to fill. We don’t want to provide these bald of context; we’ll try to include a ‘shalshelet hakabbalah’ (chain of transmission) or history with each recording. We want to make this archive easy to use for accomplished shluchei tzibbur and for beginners, for inheritors of many traditions and inhabitants of many genders. If you think you have recordings for us or know where to find some, please let us know at [email protected] and/or [email protected] with “Nusach Toolbox” in the subject line!). We’d love to add as much to our resource as possible, especially recordings of nuschaot or voices which are underrepresented in the 'egal world'.
Isabel (who uses ‘she’ and ‘hers’ pronouns) teaches at a pluralist Jewish primary school just outside London. She is a two-time alumna of the Hadar Summer Beit Midrash as well as having learnt at the Conservative Yeshiva and the Drisha High School Program; outside the walls of a yeshiva, she has a half-dozen phone havrutot and an extremely punctuality-challenged Twitter parashah practice. She is daydreaming about a really nice long walk, practicing her fledgling amateur translation on Sefaria and the Open Siddur Project, and working on her vegan babka recipe.
Naomi has spent the last decade building a repertoire of DIY Jewish skills, and loves connecting people to opportunities that help them understand and strengthen their own Judaism. They have treasured studying with a sage chazzanit and a variety of other mentors, and has created an audio community for egalitarian nusach-lovers across the globe to grow their knowledge. They are committed to making Jewish learning accessible to people of all ages, races, genders, abilities, and backgrounds.
Spreading Empowering and Innovative Torah
God Wears Prada
Amitai Mintzer and Tamar Yichye
God Wears Prada: A Parashah Shiur you won’t find anywhere else! In our podcast, we discuss each week’s Parsha through the lens of a relevant concept from feminist and Queer theory that speaks to both the biblical story and our personal lives. The goal of our podcast is to create young, feminist, Israeli and completely Jewish content.
Amitai is an alum of Yeshivat Ma'aleh Gilboa, the '19 Hadar summer program and the '20 Hadar Elul program. He volunteers for LGBTQ organizations. Currently, he is a student at Tel Aviv University.
Tamar is an alum of Midreshet Hashiluv Natur, the '19 Hadar summer program and 2019-2020 year program. Tamar studies creative writing in Jerusalem and works at "Itim".
This project seeks to bring the perspectives of teachers at a diverse, urban agriculture public high school to Mishnah Zeraim. For each masechet, a teacher with expertise in a corresponding subject area will be interviewed.
Amit is a teacher at the School District of Philadelphia's agriculture high school. He is an active union member of the American Federation of Teachers Local 3 and enjoys participating in Philly's Jewish community.
Francophone Mesilat Yesharim reading group
Dr. Eliora Peretz
My project is to create a chabura of 5 to 8 francophones students from France, Belgium, Switzerland or Canada. We will study together the Luzzato’s The Path of the Just via Zoom every other week. Students will be guided with source sheets to prepare for each class as well as morning affirmation and cheshbon hanefesh daily practice on a specific mida.
I was in Hadar in summers 08' and 09'. I am French and Swiss and moved to Israel in 2010 after receiving my Ph.D. in Media Sciences from the Sorbonne in Paris. I am also an associate researcher at the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace since 2013. In parallel to my academic career, I am completing in the next months a 3-years long rabbinical study track at Beit Midrash Harel with Rabbi Herzl Hefter, under the supervision of Israel Prize winner Prof. Daniel Sperber. I have been practicing Mussar in various venues since a decade and I am thrilled to have the wonderful opportunity to share my Torah.
This Too is Torah, and I Must Learn: A Talmud Shiur for Women in Zurich
The goal of this project is to create a space of serious learning and discussion in Zurich, Switzerland that specifically appreciates and values the perspectives of women. Women from all backgrounds are welcome.
Elli Cohn was ordained as a rabbi by JTS in 2018 and worked for two years as a Jewish Studies teacher at Gann Academy in Waltham, MA. She was a Hadar summer fellow in 2011. She now lives in Zurich, Switzerland with her husband, Oliver.
Philosophy and Torah: The Etz Hasadeh Torah Commentary
Every week I write a Dvar Torah interpreting a Biblical passage through an existential lens. My aims are:
- To promote awe, joy, and creativity in the regular study of the Torah.
- To inspire a diverse readership to reflect on the meaning of their lives, aided by Jewish tradition.
- To bring Jewish tradition into conversation with ideas, texts, and methods from literature, psychology, and philosophy.
- To model a way of reading that lives at the intersection of pshat (fidelity to the written text) and drash (fidelity to the spirit of the text as it touches the spirit of the reader) or what I call "soulful intellectualism."
Please subscribe and share: etzhasadeh.substack.com/subscribe.
Rabbi Dr. Zohar Atkins is the Founder and Director of Etz Hasadeh: A Center for Existential Torah. He is a Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and the author of Nineveh (a book of poems) and Unframing Existence (an academic book on Heidegger). He writes a daily philosophical question @whatiscalledthinking.substack.com and a weekly Dvar Torah @etzhasadeh.substack.com
Rosaleda Study Chaburah: Exploring Maimonidean Pluralism
Lorenzo Menajem Davis
The aim of the Rosaleda Study Chaburah is to create a study community centered on exploring the threads of religious pluralism found in the works of the Rambam and later writers such as Hakham José Faur and Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, among others. My aspiration is to highlight the earnest, daring, yet deeply traditional hope these and other thinkers held that the Jewish journey to serve and know God could find solidarity and common cause with adherents of other belief systems. My hope is that this topic of study will help inform ongoing conversations about intercommunity relationships.
Born in Costa Rica and raised in New York City, Lorenzo Menajem Davis (Summer 2019) works as a software engineer at Sefaria. In addition to his time at Yeshivat Hadar during the summer of 2019, Lorenzo Menajem has learned at SVARA and was an Avodah Justice Fellow in the 2018-2019 cohort. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 2011 with a degree in public policy and is currently working part-time towards a graduate degree in cybersecurity policy from Georgia Tech. Lorenzo Menajem currently resides in Staten Island, New York.
Open Talmud Project: Yom Iyyun on Tzedakah
A virtual yom iyyun on 7 March of Jewish text learning aimed at Jews in the UK at all levels of experience with Jewish text. The focus of the day will be tzedakah, a morning of Talmud learning that emphasises with giving students the tools to learn. Afternoon sessions will delve into halakhah, hasidut, and other Jewish texts. This project is also being coordinated by Hadar alum Rabbi Leah Jordan and Lev Taylor.
Jessica is a Hebrew College student from Edinburgh. She previously studied at Hadar (Summer 2019, Year 2019-20) and at Drisha. When not learning or teaching, Jessica dreams about how to start a Scottish torah learning revolution.
Reaching Klal Yisrael
Un-School Re-School Cool-School
Nadav Slovin and Alana Himber
Offering opportunities for mutual empowerment, we are inviting folks of varying backgrounds and interests to share their passions with one another, incorporating Torah and tradition. Monthly Zoom multi-session seminars on honeybees, comedy, creative writing, herbalism, and a wide variety of subjects will bring young Jewish adults together from across the globe.
Nadav Slovin is a passionate educator and learner. He has journeyed through thick forests, pungent farms, colorful spiritual paths, rich text and tradition, and diverse communities. An entrepreneur and visionary, Nadav, like many North American young professionals, seeks meaningful conversation and engagement with Jewish community and tradition in the global context of modernity.
Alana Himber teaches English for the New York City Department of Education at East Brooklyn Community High School. She graduated from the City University of New York with a Master of Arts in Education, as a fellow in the New York City Teaching Fellowship. Alana resides in her native Brooklyn, with a dog named Picklez and a cat named Schnitzel. She is a lifelong learner who enjoys adventuring, scheming, connecting, and eating.
Jacob, Julia, and Nadav Chatinover
ShabbosTable is an Instagram project to encourage delicious food and meaningful conversation at the Shabbat Table. Each week, we post a simple yet special recipe with high quality photos, along with an accompanying "Shabbos table question", usually inspired by the parashah or calendar. Rather than give a Dvar Torah or a particular perspective, the question encourages discussion, conversation, debate, and further study, both around the individual followers’ tables, and the online 'table'. ShabbosTable appeals to a broad spectrum of Jews, with a broad range of interests, to feel welcomed and to engage with each other Jewishly online in a way that they are used to engaging. ShabbosTable is ideal for distanced engagement, that still feels like being invited into a home and into warm discussion. We hope it will blossom into a space where look forward each week to sharing their reflections and hearing from others in their online community.
Jacob and Julia are Hadar alumni (Spring '16) living in Somerville, Mass. Jacob is a 2nd-year student in the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, and Julia is the assistant director of Camp Ramah in the Rockies. Their motivation to work on this project stems from a desire for every table to be a sacred space where real service of the heart can take place. They love using food and discussion to make shabbat feel special, and can't wait to host people around their physical Shabbos table someday soon. Nadav Chatinover is a musician, producer, people-connector and generator of creative ideas. He also happens to be Jacob's brother. You can usually find him in Los Angeles, Lisbon, Kiev, or West Hartford, CT.
Empowering the Mighty
Alex Hamilton and Stefanie Gedan
There are challenges to creating meaningful community anywhere. The US Military community is no exception. Stefanie and I, in conjunction with the Jewish Welfare Board, are trying to empower future Jewish Military lay-leaders on how to build community when there is no Jewish chaplain.
Alex Hamilton is from Oklahoma City, OK. He went to Rutgers University where he majored in Jewish Studies. Upon graduating, Alex studied at Hadar as a fellow between 2017-18. Alex is currently a third-year rabbinical student. In January 2020, Alex received his commission as a Chaplain Candidate in the US Navy.
Stefanie Gedan is originally from Minnetonka, MN. She attended the University of Wisconsin- Madison where she majored in Jewish Studies with an emphasis in Modern Hebrew. Upon graduating, Stefanie studied at Hadar as a fellow between 2017-18. Stefanie is currently a third-year rabbinical student. In February 2020, Stefanie received her commission as a Chaplain Candidate in the US Navy.
Centering Jewish Voices at the Margins
A Convert's Haggadah Companion
וְהִגַּדְתָּ֣ לְבִנְךָ֔ בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא לֵאמֹ֑ר בַּעֲב֣וּר זֶ֗ה עָשָׂ֤ה יְהוָה֙ לִ֔י בְּצֵאתִ֖י מִמִּצְרָֽיִם׃
Pesah, more than any other holiday, is a family story, materializing the miracles God performed for our mythic ancestors as a recollection from parent to child, לדור ודור. But every year, as parents and children sit down to ask and tell, we who chose the God of Avraham must miraculously imagine for ourselves the parents we do not have, who could never have bound us to our heritage through their blood and memory. By collecting stories, commentaries, and Divrei Torah of a diverse set of Jewish converts, I hope to share Pesach Torah from people whom our tradition describes as having undergone our own yetzias mitzrayim in miniature!
Nissa Mai-Rose is a software developer at a policy research organization who learned at Hadar from 2018 to 2019. She is enthusiastic about Jewish learning, community building, racial justice, and eating cheese. Nissa lives in Washington Heights with her wife and their many houseplants.
Teimani Ta'ami HaMikra: Yemenite Torah Reading
Daniele Natali Goldberg
In this series of classes, we will learn how to read Torah according to Yemenite tradition, with the goal of gaining fluency and comfort with the practice. We will study pronunciation, reading and tarjum according to nosaḥ teiman. Virtual classes will be taught by an experienced Mori.
Daniele is a mediator specializing in youth, family and divorce mediation. The Teimani Ta’amei HaMikra project is an expression of her personal dream of manifesting Teimani practices in her home and community.
Feminism All Night
Feminism All Night designs immersive feminist festivals for Jewish holidays. We create a platform for feminist Jewish learning that weave the political and the spiritual. FAN is community centered and open to people of all genders.
Hadar is a feminist multi-media artist, healer and educator originally from Jerusalem. She is a Mizrahi Jewish mystic who works to build decolonial frameworks for worshiping God. Hadar teaches Jewish scripture and embodied practices through various platforms, including At The Well. She recently curated Prostrations, a High Holiday art show about embodied Jewish prayer. Her artistic mediums include performance, movement, writing, weaving, sound and ritual. You can check out her work here.
Translating and Reframing Torah
Translating Yemima Avital's Oral Torah
Jen Holzer and Naama Sadan
Yemima Avital, z’l, a beloved Moroccan-Israeli teacher influenced by kabbalah, hasidut, and psychology, created her own Torah centered around the emotional world of the individual in relationship in the context of the Jewish calendar and life cycle events. Called a ‘feminine rebbe,’ her teachings were primarily oral and this project will make a collection of these teachings accessible to English speakers with a series of translations.
Naama Sadan is an alumna of summer 2013. She currently lives in Berkeley, California where she is completing a doctorate in environmental policy. This is her third microgrant project.
Dr. Jennifer Holzer is currently a postdoctoral fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre at Brock University, Canada. Her current research focuses on creating tools for improving collaborative environmental governance at the landscape level, using agent-based modeling to uncover links between attitudes about resilience and pro-environmental behaviors, and developing a framework to assess ‘sense of place’ at multiple scales. Previously, she was a project manager for climate change mitigation and energy efficiency programs in California. She has also worked as a birth doula and Jewish educator. She is an alumna of Jewish studies programs at Pardes, Nishmat and Hadar (Summer '13). Jen holds a PhD from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Environmental Studies, an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University, and a BA from Swarthmore College with a major in Religion.
Bilvavi - The Integrated Individual and Modern Jewish Life: An Introduction To Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner
My project is a compilation of the most representative pieces (in translation) of Rav Yitzchak Hutner’s thought, along with commentary to introduce Rav Hutner in a more systematic way in English to the wider Jewish world. This work will attempt to place Rav Hutner’s maamarim (essays) into the major themes of his thoughts and make his work comprehensible, intelligible, and relevant to an English-speaking audience.
Jon Dine currently works as a data analyst/scientist for Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington DC. Outside of work he is an active participant and former Steering Committee member at DC Minyan in downtown DC. He is a proud alumnus of the University of Chicago, where he took numerous Jewish Studies courses. Jon has also studied at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, was a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar in New York in 2010 (where he was first introduced to the Pahad Yitzchak).
The Book of Psalms: A Millennial's Poetic Interpretation
Brielle Paige Rassler
"The Book of Psalms: A Millennial's Poetic Interpretation" is the first of a series of "A Millennial's Poetic Interpretation" by Dr. Brielle Paige Rassler. The book is a complete translation of the Book of Psalms, each dedicated to a special person or event in Brielle's life. Rooted in a deep exploration of the original Hebrew text and soaring into the most sparkly of drashic interpretations, Brielle hopes that her rendering of the Psalms will inspire others to overcome their inner-narrowness (tzor'rai) and reach new levels of being WOWed by the Divine (yir'at Hashem).
Dr. Brielle Paige Rassler, Psy.D. is a Psychology Resident, spiritual artist, and ALEPH Rabbinic/Hashpa’ah student, based in South Florida. She was most recently serving bereaved families of the Covid-19 pandemic as the coordinator of the Penn Medicine PMC Grief Counseling Program. Brielle has authored a reference guide to the Talmud, a manual for the religiously integrated treatment of Jewish women with eating disorders, and has released two albums of original music, which were also supported by a Hadar Microgrant. Brielle was a fellow at Hadar in the Fall of 2018 is endlessly grateful for Hadar’s continued support of her projects!
Fostering Traditional Egalitarian Communities
She Rises Above All
Zoe is working on a book about being a kallah, a Jewish bride. Her book-in-process is tentatively titled, "She Rises Above All," and offers Zoe's perspective on the Jewish wisdom given over during traditional kallah classes for brides. The book is a work in project, and the Hadar Micro Grant is helping Zoe work with an editor to prepare the book for whatever the future may hold.
Zoe Jick Fertik is a Hadar alum from Summer 2014. She currently lives in Palo Alto, California. She represents BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change at Palo Alto's Oshman Family JCC.
Stam Scribes 2021 Virtual Conference
The 2021 Stam Scribes Virtual Conference will enable members to share practical skills and halachic learning to better serve our communities. Soferim and soferot will teach shiurim on the Beit Yosef, cutting quills, writing techniques, and more. With Hadar's help, we will be able to compensate talent from outside our collective as well.
Crown Heights Chaburah
Rafael Jacobovitz and Rebecca Harris
It will be a socially distanced Chaburah on top of Rafi’s (and co) rooftop. Every week, a new community member will give a shiur in a topic of their choosing while people shmooze, eat, and learn together.
Rebecca was a 2018 Hadar fellow and is a teacher at a special education school. She likes puppy watching, Torah, and art. Rafi is a 2019 winter session alum and a programmer. He likes biking in Brooklyn, dancing, and drinking coffee.
Celebrating and Learning the Holidays in Givatayim
Learning sessions before Yom Kippur and between Yom Kippur and Simchas Torah to get people learning about how to make the holidays meaningful, culminating in a raucous Simchas Torah celebration for the community.
Rabbi Rachel Druck runs the Egalitarian Minyan in Givatayim. She works at the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) and is currently studying for her Master’s in Yiddish Literature at Tel Aviv University, representing the proud Galitsiyaners. Rachel is originally from New Jersey, and through a series of adventures and unexpected events, finds herself living in Givatayim, Israel.
Tel Aviv Friday Learning
Hadas Tamar Nevenzal
I’m hosting monthly Torah learning sessions on Friday mornings, in the spirit of Hadar – egalitarian and open to all. Each Friday, we will have different Torah figure from the Hadar community at large and the Hadar cummunity in Tel Aviv.
Hadas Tamar Nevenzal is a Ph.D. candidate for Biotechnology at Bar Ilan University. She studied for eight years in different programs in the Midrasha at Bar Ilan. Hadas Tamar is board member of the egalitarian minyan in Tel Aviv and an alumna of Hadar’s Elul program.