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Jewish Education

From Yavneh to the great yeshivas of pre-war Europe, down to the archipelago of day schools, Hebrew schools, and online learning in America today, education as always been an integral part of Jewish communal life. Many of our fellows have done research projects or coordinated with Tikvah’s own educational endeavors to further the cause of Jewish education in America, with the expressed purpose of shaping the moral and intellectual character of young Jews.

Past Fellows

Juliana Castillo

Juliana Castillo is a Eugene du Pont Scholar and Honors College student at the University of Delaware, studying philosophy and religion. For the 2021-22 school year, she was a Communications Intern at the Caesar Rodney Institute, Delaware’s only State Policy Network affiliate policy institute. She was a Summer Fellow with the Hertog Institute’s Summer Courses in 2021, and is a member of the Tikvah Collegiate Forum Advisory Board. As a 2022 Beren Fellow, Juliana analyzed what it means to maintain Jewish identity in a secular world, and how families of faith can preserve and strengthen their religious foundations. This will be influenced both by her involvement in recruitment and development for the Millstone Scholars Program in small Jewish communities across America and by the creation of a prototype of a “Tikvah Guide to College” for three American universities

Nina Saadat

Nina Saadat is a recent graduate of the University of Miami, where she majored in psychology and minored in history, philosophy, and military science. She served as the Company Commander and First Sergeant of the University of Miami’s Army ROTC program. After completing the Beren Summer Fellowship, she will be a Field Artillery Officer in the Maryland National Guard and will continue at Tikvah as a Program Associate in the Young Professionals program. For her Summer Fellowship project, Nina surveyed and conducted over a dozen in-depth interviews with Jewish day school educators to assess their US history content, instruction methods, and most significant challenges. She hopes to publish a white paper summarizing the findings and suggesting measures for future research.

Spencer Glassman

Spencer Glassman hails from West Orange, New Jersey and is a senior at Harvard College studying history with a secondary in government. He is the Chairman of the John Adams Society, a columnist for The Crimson, and an active member of Hillel where he leads the regular trivia nights. As a 2022 Summer Fellow, Spencer has worked on advocating for the importance of a classical education in Jewish schools by working with Rabbi Mitch Rocklin, developing Tikvah’s humanities curriculum by writing teachers’ guides for Jonathan Swift, Alexander Dumas, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes.


Rabbi Mark Gottlieb

Rabbi Mark Gottlieb is chief education officer of Tikvah and founding dean of the Tikvah Scholars Program. Prior to joining Tikvah, Rabbi Gottlieb served as head of school at Yeshiva University High School for Boys and principal of the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA, and has taught at The Frisch School, Ida Crown Jewish Academy, Hebrew Theological College, Loyola University in Chicago, and the University of Chicago. He received his BA from Yeshiva College, rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Chicago, where his doctoral studies focused on the moral and political thought of Alasdair MacIntyre. Rabbi Gottlieb’s work has been featured twice in the Wall Street Journal and his writing has appeared in First Things, Public Discourse, SEVEN: An Anglo-American Literary Review, The University Bookman, Tradition Online, the Algemeiner, From Within the Tent: Essays on the Weekly Parsha from Rabbis and Professors of Yeshiva University, and, most recently, Strauss, Spinoza & Sinai: Orthodox Judaism and Modern Questions of Faith. He is a trustee of the Hildebrand Project and serves on the Editorial Committee of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. He lives in Teaneck, NJ, with his wife and family.

Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin

Rabbi Dr. Mitchell Rocklin is Director of the Jewish Classical Education Concentration track at the University of Dallas and the academic director and dean of the Lobel Center for Jewish Classical Education. His prior work on Jewish Classical Education as a research fellow with Tikvah was featured in the Wall Street Journal. He received his Ph.D. in history from the CUNY Graduate Center, held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton University and Yeshiva University, and taught at both CUNY and Princeton. He is also a chaplain in the Army National Guard with the rank of Major. Rabbi Rocklin is also the president of the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty, as well as a member of the Rabbinical Council of America’s Executive Committee and Military Chaplaincy Committee. Prior to his work at Tikvah, he served as a congregational rabbi in Connecticut. His writings have been featured in publications including The Los Angeles Times, National Review Online, The Daily Wire, The Forward, The Public Discourse, and Mosaic.

Sarah Wapner

Ms. Sarah Wapner is a faculty member at the Tikvah Fund. She previously served as a program manager for strategic partnerships at a private foundation in New York City. Sarah received her undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto, where she majored in political science and Jewish studies. She also taught history and Jewish studies at Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto. Sarah is an alumna of the Krauthammer Fellowship (2021-2022) as well as fellowships at the Hertog Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. She is a graduate of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators. Her writing has appeared in The Jewish Review of Books.

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