Our Faculty

The Tikvah Scholars Program is anchored by a world-class faculty, selected for its breadth of scholarship and passion for seminar-style teaching. Under the leadership of our Dean, Rabbi Mark Gottlieb, our faculty is comprised of leading college professors, rabbis, journalists, public intellectuals, and key policy figures. Below, please find a listing of our Summer 2021 faculty members.

Rabbi Mark Gottlieb

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 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 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 family.

Rabbi Shlomo Brody

Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Brody is the co-dean of the Tikvah Online Academy and founding director of the Tikvah Overseas Students Institute. A columnist for The Jerusalem Post since 2007, Brody previously served for a decade as a senior instructor at Yeshivat Hakotel and as a junior research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. Brody’s writings focus on making Jewish texts accessible to broader audiences while applying them to contemporary social and ethical dilemmas. His work has appeared in Mosaic, First ThingsThe Federalist, Tablet, Tzohar, The Forward, Hakirah, and other popular publications, and has been cited in Israeli Supreme Court decisions. His first book, A Guide to the Complex: Contemporary Halakhic Debates (Maggid), received a 2014 National Jewish Book Award. A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, he received rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, an MA in Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University, and his Ph.D. from Bar Ilan University Law School, where he continues to serve as a post-doctoral fellow. Originally from Houston, Texas, Rabbi Brody now lives in Modi'in with his wife Rocky and five children.

Sherif Girgis

The Witherspoon Institute

Sherif Girgis, a Research Scholar of the Witherspoon Institute, is completing his PhD in philosophy at Princeton and recently completed his JD at Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Last year, he clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals on the Washington, D.C. Circuit. He is coauthor of the book, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, cited by Justice Alito in United States v. Windsor, on which he has spoken at more than 70 lectures, conferences, and debates. His most recent book, coauthored with Ryan Anderson and John Corvino, is Debating Religious Liberty, Tolerance, and Bigotry (Oxford University Press, 2017). Sherif has written on social issues in academic and popular venues, including Public DiscourseNational ReviewCommonweal, the New York Times, the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and the Wall Street Journal. He is a 2008 Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude graduate of Princeton, from which he went on to earn a master's degree in moral, political, and legal philosophy from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Dr. Jacob Howland

Jacob Howland is the McFarlin Professor of Philosophy (emeritus) at the University of Tulsa and a Senior Fellow at the Tikvah Fund. He earned a BA from Swarthmore College and a PhD from Penn State. His research focuses on ancient Greek philosophy, history, epic, and tragedy; the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud; Kierkegaard; and literary and philosophical responses to the Holocaust and Soviet totalitarianism. His most recent book is Glaucon’s Fate: History, Myth, and Character in Plato’s Republic (Paul Dry, 2018). His other books include Plato and the Talmud (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Kierkegaard and Socrates: A Study in Philosophy and Faith (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Dr. Rita Koganzon

Rita Koganzon is Associate Director of the Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy and Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. She is a political theorist specializing in the history of political thought. Her research focuses on the themes of childhood, education, and the family in political thought. She is the author of Liberal States, Authoritarian Families, a study of the family and education in the thought of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and has published widely on the family and education. She received her PhD in Government from Harvard University, and her BA in History from the University of Chicago.

Aaron MacLean

Aaron MacLean is director for policy at The Paul E. Singer Foundation. A combat Marine veteran, he was educated at St. John’s College, Annapolis, and Balliol College, Oxford. He served as an infantry officer in Afghanistan, and his final assignment in the Marine Corps was teaching English literature at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was the 2013 recipient of the Apgar Award for excellence in teaching. From 2014 to 2017, Aaron was the managing editor of The Washington Free Beacon. He has been a NextGen National Security Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a Marshall Scholar, and a Boren Scholar. He lives in Virginia, where he was born. 

James Otteson

Wake Forest University

Dr. James Otteson joined Wake Forest in the fall of 2013 as Executive Director of the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism and Teaching Professor of Political Economy. Before coming to Wake Forest, Dr. Otteson was joint professor of philosophy and economics, and philosophy department chair, at Yeshiva University. He has taught previously at New York University, Georgetown University, and the University of Alabama. He also serves currently as a Research Professor in the Freedom Center and in the Philosophy Department at the University of Arizona, and he is a Senior Scholar at the Fund for American Studies in Washington, D.C. Dr. Otteson’s scholarship focuses on political economy, political philosophy, history and philosophy of economics, and eighteenth-century moral and political thought. He is an expert on Adam Smith, on the moral foundations of capitalism, and on the comparative evaluation of competing systems of political economy.

Dr. Daniel Polisar

Daniel Polisar is co-founder and Executive Vice President of Shalem College in Jerusalem, Israel’s first liberal arts college. He previously served as President of the Shalem Center from 2002-2013 and also as its Director of Research, Academic Director, and Editor-in-Chief of its journal, Azure. From 2006 to 2009, he served as the founding chairman, within the Office of the Israeli Prime Minister, of the National Council for the Commemoration of the Legacy of Theodor Herzl. Dr. Polisar received his BA in politics from Princeton University and his PhD in government from Harvard University, where he was the recipient of Truman and Fulbright scholarships, as well as of a Mellon Fellowship. His research interests include Zionist history and thought, Israeli constitutional development, and the history and philosophy of higher education.

Dr. R.J. Snell

R. J. Snell is director of academic programs at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, NJ, editor-in-chief of The Public Discourse, and occasional visiting instructor at Princeton University. He earned his MA in philosophy at Boston College, and his PhD in philosophy at Marquette University. Research interests include the liberal arts, ethics, natural law theory, Thomas Aquinas, the Catholic intellectual tradition, and the work of Bernard Lonergan, SJ. He is the author of Through a Glass Darkly: Bernard Lonergan and Richard Rorty on Knowing without a God’s-eye View (Marquette, 2006), Authentic Cosmopolitanism (with Steve Cone, Pickwick, 2013), The Perspective of Love: Natural Law in a New Mode (Pickwick, 2014), Acedia and Its Discontents (Angelico, 2015), and co-editor of Subjectivity: Ancient and Modern and Nature: Ancient and Modern, as well as articles, chapters, and essays in a variety of scholarly and popular venues. He and his family reside in the Princeton area.

Jenna Storey

Jenna Silber Storey is Assistant Professor in Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. She is also Executive Director of the Tocqueville Program at Furman, an intellectual community dedicated to the investigation of the moral and philosophic questions at the heart of political life. As Executive Director, Dr. Storey works with her colleagues to oversee a society of undergraduate fellows, an engaged living program, a political thought club, a course-and-lecture series, a summer placement program and a postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Storey is also a Board Member of Veritas Preparatory School in Greenville, SC, where her three children are currently studying.

Dr. Storey received her Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, where she was a John M. Olin Junior Fellow, and her B.A. from the University Professors Program at Boston University, where she also worked as Executive Assistant to the Superintendent for the Boston University-Chelsea Schools Partnership. She interned at the Pioneer Institute in Boston, a think tank devoted to state and local politics in Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in edited volumes as well as Perspectives on Political Science, realclearbooks.com, The New Atlantis, The Weekly Standard, The Claremont Review of Books, VoeglinView, and The Boston Globe. She has published work on Carl Schmitt and Pierre Manent. Most recently, she has co-authored a book with Benjamin Storey entitled Why We are Restless: The Modern Quest for Contentment. It will be published by Princeton University Press in the Spring of 2021. In 2018-2019 she won the Silas N. Pearman award for her teaching in the Engaged Living Program.

Sarah Wapner

Sarah Wapner is the Impact and Recruitment Officer at the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought of Yeshiva University. A native of Toronto, Sarah received her undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto, where she majored in Political Science and Jewish Studies. Sarah is an alumna of summer fellowships at the Tikvah Fund, the Hertog Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute, and she served as a consultant for Tikvah’s College Division. At Tikvah, Sarah previously taught "What is Zionism? The Founding Thinkers," "The Pen and the Sword: Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust," and "Great Speeches in Israeli History."

Dr. Jonathan Yudelman

Jonathan Yudelman is currently a Thomas W. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate at the James Madison Program at Princeton University, and in 2021-2022 will be a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Program on Constitutional Government, Harvard University. His main area of research is ancient and modern political theory and the early modern origins of liberalism. He earned a PhD from Boston College in Political Science, and holds an MA in Philosophy and a BA in Jewish Thought, both from the Hebrew University. He has written on cultural, political, and religious issues in the American MindAzureCity JournalFirst Things, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications.

Each of our master teachers brings a unique and passionate vision to his or her work. We hope to provide students with faculty who are more than just teachers; students get to meet with teachers in informal settings such as meals and during free-time to learn from the faculty as citizens and role models.

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