Gordis’ writing has appeared in magazines and newspapers including the New York Times, the New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, Azure, Commentary and Foreign Affairs, and his books have received numerous awards. He previously won the National Jewish Book Award, in 2008, for Saving Israel, and two of his other books were finalists for the National Jewish Book Award.
Each of our teachers brings a unique and passionate vision to their work. In seminars, students will not merely be listeners but active participants in dialogue with their teachers as they tackle profound questions and immerse themselves in the study of great texts that have shaped the modern world. Students and teachers will also have the chance to connect with faculty in informal settings such as meals and during free-time. Our teachers are more than just instructors, but mentors and partners in a lifetime of learning.
Below is a sampling of faculty from past summers:
Dr. Daniel Gordis is Senior Vice President and the Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College in Jerusalem. The author of more than ten books, Gordis is a regular columnist for both the Jerusalem Post and for Bloomberg View.
Gordis’ newest book is a history of the State of Israel entitled Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn, which received the 2016 National Jewish Book Award as “Book of the Year.”
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N.
Ambassador Danny Danon became Israel’s 17th Permanent Representative to the United Nations in October 2015.
Born in Israel, he completed his IDF service with the rank of Lieutenant and served as Overall Commander of the Marva volunteer program. Danon holds a B.A. in International Relations, F.I.U. (Magna Cum Laude), an M.A. Public Policy and Public Administration from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Law School.
He was a Member of Knesset from February 2009 until August 2015. He served as Deputy Speaker of the 18th Knesset, as Chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and among others as a member of the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, House, Constitution, Law and Justice, Foreign Affairs and Defense, Education, Culture, and Sports Committee, and Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, as well as on the Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality and the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Danon served as Deputy Minister of Defense from March 2013 until July 2014. In May 2015 he was appointed Minister of Science, Technology, and Space, serving until his appointment in August 2015 as Israel Ambassador to the United Nations.
Dara Horn was born in New Jersey in 1977 and received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University in 2006, studying Hebrew and Yiddish. In 2007 she was chosen by Granta magazine as one of America’s “Best Young American Novelists.” Her first novel, In the Image, published by W.W. Norton when she was 25, received a 2003 National Jewish Book Award, the 2002 Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and the 2003 Reform Judaism Fiction Prize. Her second novel, The World to Come (2006), received the 2006 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, the 2007 Harold U. Ribalow Prize, and has been translated into eleven languages. Her third novel, All Other Nights (2009), was one of Booklist’s 25 Best Books of the Decade. Her nonfiction e-book The Rescuer (2012) was published by Tablet magazine and became a Kindle bestseller. Her newest novel is A Guide for the Perplexed (2013). She has taught courses in Jewish literature and Israeli history at Harvard, Sarah Lawrence College, and City University of New York, and has lectured at over two hundred universities and cultural institutions throughout North America and in Israel. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four children.
Congregation Shearith Israel
Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik is director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. Prior to this, Soloveichik served as associate rabbi at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan. Rabbi Soloveichik has lectured throughout the United States, in Europe, and in Israel to both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on topics relating to Jewish theology, bioethics, wartime ethics, and Jewish-Christian relations. His essays on these subjects have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, First Things, Azure, Tradition, and the Torah U-Madda Journal. In August 2012, he gave the invocation at the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. He is the son of Rabbi Eliyahu Soloveichik, grandson of the late Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, and the great nephew of the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi serves the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion as the National Director of Recruitment and Admissions and President’s Scholar and heads the Office of Community Engagement. Prior to this recent appointment, Rabbi Sabath served as Vice President of the Shalom Hartman Institute and for over a decade as a member of the Institute’s faculty, and directed the Hartman Lay leadership, Rabbinic leadership, and Christian leadership programs. Ordained at the HUC-JIR nearly 20 years ago, Rabbi Sabath also earned a PhD in philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Rabbi Sabath writes a monthly column in the Jerusalem Post and has co-authored two books and published numerous articles. Rabbi Sabath also teaches and mentors students of HUC-JIR and speaks throughout North America on leadership, Israel, gender, and theology. She is currently writing a book on the future of covenant for Jewish Peoplehood.
Rabbi Sabath is an alumna of the Wexner Foundation Graduate Fellowship and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She has served on the faculties of the Wexner Foundation, CLAL – the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and the Skirball Center. For more than a decade she also served as the rabbi of Congregation Shirat HaYam on Nantucket Island. Raised in Minneapolis, Rabbi Sabath also lived in Israel for nearly 15 years and currently lives in Cincinnati with her husband, Rabbi Ofer Sabath Beit-Halachmi, and their three children.
Dr. Michael Doran is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies rom Princeton University and held numerous high-level positions in the administration of George W. Bush. He appears frequently on television and has published extensively in Mosaic, Foreign Affairs, the American Interest, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. His most recent book is Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East.
Let There be Water
Seth M. Siegel is a businessman, activist and writer. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications around the world on business, political and cultural issues. Siegel has often appeared on television and has been widely quoted in major print media. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ronna Burger is Catherine & Henry J. Gaisman Chair in Philosophy and Sizeler Professor of Jewish Studies at Tulane University, where she has been teaching since 1980, after receiving her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research Graduate Faculty. Her work has been supported by the Mellon, Humboldt, Earhart, and Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundations as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities. Burger is the author of Aristotle’s Dialogue with Socrates: On the Nicomachean Ethics (2008), along with books on Plato’s Phaedo (1984, 1999) and Phaedrus (1980), and a monograph on the question of the holy in Plato’s Euthyphro (2015). Her published articles include “Maimonides on Knowledge of Good and Evil” and “Woman and Nature: the Female Drama of the Book of Genesis.” In recent years Burger has been teaching a series of courses on “Bible and Philosophy,” and has lectured at numerous college campuses on Adam and Eve, Rebekah, Joseph, Moses, and Esther.
SAR High School
Shuli Taubes received her Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and her BA in history from Barnard College. She currently serves as a faculty member at SAR High School in Riverdale, New York, where she teaches Tanakh, Jewish Identity, and chairs the Jewish Philosophy department. She has also developed and teaches a curriculum for educating Modern Orthodox high school students in comparative religion. Last year, Shuli was the Sopher Community Scholar at the Young Israel of North Riverdale where she gave shiurim and served in a pastoral role. She also lectures in synagogues throughout the country. Shuli and her husband Ari live in Washington Heights, New York.
Dr. Samuel Gregg is director of research at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. He has a Doctor of Philosophy degree in moral philosophy and political economy from the University of Oxford and has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, and natural law theory. He is the author of several books, including Morality, Law, and Public Policy (2000), Economic Thinking for the Theologically Minded (2001), On Ordered Liberty (2003), his prize-winning The Commercial Society (2007), Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future (2013), and Tea Party Catholic: The Catholic Case for Limited Government, a Free Economy and Human Flourishing (2013. Dr. Gregg regularly publishes in journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy; Economic Affairs; Ethics and Public Policy; Foreign Affairs; and his opinion-pieces appear in publications such as the Wall Street Journal Europe; National Review; American Spectator; and Australian Financial Review.
Michael Avi Helfand
Professor Michael (Avi) Helfand is an expert on religious law and religious liberty. A frequent author and lecturer, his work focuses on how U.S. law treats Jewish law, custom and practice. His articles have appeared in numerous law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the New York University Law Review and the Duke Law Journal, as well as in various public audience publications, including the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the National Law Journal, the Forward, and the Jewish Week.
St. John's College
Louis Petrich received his Master’s Degree in Social Thought from the University of Chicago in 1986. He worked as a dramaturg, assistant director, and actor at the Court Theater of the University of Chicago in the late 1980’s, and at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. in the early 1990’s. In 1990, he received his first Fulbright Scholar Award to teach American literature at the Alexandru I. Cuza University in Iasi, Romania. This was followed by service in the United States Peace Corps as a teacher of English teachers at Masaryk University in Brno, Czechoslovakia (where he met his wife). Afterwards, he taught American through the Civic Education Project to university students in Presov, Slovakia; Iasi, Romania; and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
He received a second Fulbright Scholar Award to teach American studies at Kyrgyz State National University, also in Bishkek, where he founded the American Studies Resources and Training Center. He returned to the United States in 2002 to begin a very different academic career as a Tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis. He remains there to this day, teaching the great books across the liberal arts curriculum. He has published articles on Shakespeare, Chekhov, Tocqueville, and liberal education. He has also published poetry. He took a year’s leave of absence from St. John’s in 2010 to teach mathematics and biology to students at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. He has two children, ages 18 and 11, and in his spare time he photographs marine life on the oceanic reefs of the world.
The Tikvah Fund
Rabbi Mark Gottlieb is Senior Director of the Tikvah Fund and founding Dean of the Tikvah Institute for High School Students at Yale University. 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 B.A. from Yeshiva College, rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago, where his doctoral studies focused on the moral and political thought of Alasdair MacIntyre. Rabbi Gottlieb is a member of the Orthodox Forum Steering Committee and serves on the Editorial Committee of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. He lives in Teaneck, NJ with his wife and five children.
Kate Havard is the Associate Director for Educational Programs at the Tikvah Fund and the co-editor of Athens, Arden, Jerusalem: Essays in Honor of Mera Flaumenhaft.
Previously, Kate was a research analyst at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where she studied economic warfare and illicit financial networks.
Kate was also a Tikvah Fellow at the Wall Street Journal and a Collegiate Network Intern at the Weekly Standard and the Washington Post.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis.
Dr. Seth Applebaum is a tutor (professor, without the professing) at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM. He has a doctorate in philosophy from Tulane University and his research focus was the political philosophy of Maimonides. His B.A. is from St. John’s College, Annapolis. Seth’s history with the Tikvah Fund is long: he attended one of the first summer institutes for college students in 2009. More recently, he was a participant in the Advanced Institute on Judaism and Freedom in 2016 and a preceptor at the 2018 Tikvah Institute for High School Students.
Named one of the 500 Most Influential People in Los Angeles in 2016 and again in 2017, Most Influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek and one of the 50 Most Influential Jews in the World by The Jerusalem Post, David Wolpe is the Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple. Rabbi Wolpe previously taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, Hunter College, and UCLA. A columnist for Time.com, he has been published and profiled in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post’s On Faith website, The Huffington Post, and the New York Jewish Week. He has been featured on The Today Show, Face the Nation, ABC This Morning, and CBS This Morning. In addition, Rabbi Wolpe has appeared prominently in series on PBS, A&E, History Channel, and Discovery Channel. Rabbi Wolpe is the author of eight books, including the national bestseller Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times. His new book is titled David, the Divided Heart. It was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards, and has been optioned for a movie by Warner Bros.