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.

Dr. Harry Ballan

Harry Ballan is Senior Director of the Tikvah Fund and Founding Dean of both the Tikvah Online Academy and the Abraham Lincoln Teachers Fellowship. Dr. Ballan holds a BA, MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University and a JD from Columbia Law School. He clerked for Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and was for many years a Partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, a leading international law firm where he is currently Senior Counsel. He has taught at several leading universities on subjects ranging from law and intellectual history to neuroscience, and was Dean of Touro Law School before joining Tikvah.

Rabbi Yakov Danishefsky

Yakov Danishefsky is a licensed clinical social worker, specializing in trauma, sex-addiction, couples-therapy, and other life-adjustment challenges. He is also a speaker and educator for various Jewish organizations, blending spirituality, philosophy, and psychology. As both a therapist and teacher, Yakov is warm and personable, as well as direct and depth-oriented. He earned semicha and a masters in Jewish philosophy from Yeshiva University, completed his masters in social work from Walden University, and was a member of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Yakov recently began a private practice, Mind Body Therapy(www.mindbodychicago. com), and he lives in Chicago with his wife and four children.

Dr. Rachel Fish

Dr. Rachel Fish is a celebrated academic with 20 years of experience in the fields of Israeli history, Zionist thought, and Middle Eastern Studies. Recognized for her teaching prowess and pedagogical approaches, Dr. Fish has published extensively and is frequently called upon to advise on community interventions to reclaim an Israel discourse that is nuanced and complex while remaining accessible to a broad audience.

Most recently, Dr. Fish was the founding executive director of the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, which was established to catalyze dynamic new solutions to stop the age-old hatred advanced by those who seek the elimination of Judaism and the Jewish people and the modern movement to destroy the world’s only Jewish State. Dr. Fish was previously Senior Advisor and Resident Scholar of Jewish/Israel Philanthropy at the Paul E. Singer Foundation in New York City. She worked closely with grantees to support them and provided framing around their educational content and programming. Dr. Fish served as the executive director for the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University where she trained the next generation of scholars and Jewish communal professionals in Israel Studies.

Dr. Fish completed her doctoral degree in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies department at Brandeis University. Her dissertation, “Configurations of Bi-nationalism: The Transformation of Bi-nationalism in Palestine/Israel 1920’s-Present,” examines the history of the idea of bi-nationalism and alternative visions for constructing the State of Israel. In 2015 Dr. Fish held the Rohr Visiting Professorship at Harvard University, where she lectured on modern Israel and received the Derek Bok Certificate of Teaching Excellence. She is co-editor, with Ilan Troen, of the book Essential Israel: Essays for the Twenty-First Century.

 

Dr. Sherif Girgis

Sherif Girgis is an associate professor of law at Notre Dame. He is completing a doctorate in philosophy at Princeton and just finished working as an appellate litigator at Jones Day in Washington, D.C., where he went following his law clerkships for Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., of the U.S. Supreme Court. Sherif earned his juris doctorate at Yale Law School, his master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Princeton, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude in 2008. Sherif is co-author of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, cited by Justice Alito in United States v. Windsor, and Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination, released by Oxford University Press in 2017. He has also spoken at more than 100 conferences and debates and written on moral and legal issues in academic and popular venues including the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, the Cambridge Companion to Philosophy of Law, Public Discourse, National Review, Commonweal, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Rabbi Mark Gottlieb

Rabbi Mark Gottlieb is ssenior director 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 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.

Dr. Dara Horn

Dr. Dara Horn is the award-winning author of six books: In the Image (2002),  The World to Come (2006),  All Other Nights(2009),  A Guide for the Perplexed(2013), Eternal Life (2018), and People Love Dead Jews (2021). One of Granta magazine's "Best Young American Novelists," she has twice won the National Jewish Book Award and has received numerous other honors for her books, which have been translated into twelve languages. A scholar of Yiddish and Hebrew literature with a doctorate in comparative literature from Harvard, Dr. Horn has taught these subjects at Sarah Lawrence College, Harvard University, and Yeshiva University, and has lectured on Jewish literature in over 200 universities and cultural institutions throughout North America, Israel, and Australia. Her nonfiction work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Smithsonian, and Jewish Review of Books, among many other publications, and she is a columnist for Tablet. She lives with her husband and four children in New Jersey.

Dr. Rita Koganzon

Rita Koganzon is the 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.

Dr. Hugh Liebert

Dr. Hugh Liebert is an associate professor of American politics in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, where he teaches courses in political philosophy, American politics, and civil-military relations. He also serves as director of West Point’s Graduate Scholarship Program. Liebert is the author or editor of six books, including Plutarch’s Politics: Between City and Empire. He holds a PhD and MA from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and a BA from Harvard University.

Mr. Aaron MacLean

Aaron MacLean is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Previously, he was senior foreign policy advisor and legislative director to Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas. Aaron served on active duty as a U.S. Marine for seven years, deploying to Afghanistan as an infantry officer in 2009–2010. Following his time in the operating forces, he was assigned to the faculty of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was the 2013 recipient of the Apgar Award for Excellence in Teaching. Aaron received a B.A. in philosophy and the history of math and science from St. John’s College, Annapolis, and an M.Phil. (Dist.) in medieval Arabic thought from the University of Oxford. He has been a Boren Scholar and a Marshall Scholar and lives in Virginia, where he was born.

Dr. James Otteson

James R. Otteson is John T. Ryan Jr. professor of business ethics and Rex and Alice E. Martin faculty director of the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. He received his BA from the University of Notre Dame and his PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago. Prior to Notre Dame, he taught at Wake Forest University, Yeshiva University, NYU, and Georgetown. He specializes in business ethics, political economy, the history of economic thought, and eighteenth-century moral philosophy. His books include Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Life (Cambridge, 2002), Actual Ethics (Cambridge, 2006), Adam Smith (Bloomsbury, 2013), The End of Socialism (Cambridge, 2014), The Essential Adam Smith (Fraser Institute, 2018), Honorable Business (Oxford, 2019), and The Essential David Hume (Fraser Institute, 2021). His most recent book is Seven Deadly Economic Sins (Cambridge, 2021). His next book is The Ethics of Wealth Redistribution (with Steven McMullen; Routledge, forthcoming in 2022).

Dr. Daniel Polisar

Shalem College

Daniel Polisar is the co-founder and executive vice president of Shalem College in Jerusalem, Israel’s first liberal arts college. He previously served as the 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.

Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin

Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin serves as the president of the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty and is also a resident research fellow at the Tikvah Fund. He received his PhD 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 has served as a member of the Rabbinical Council of America’s Executive Committee and Military Chaplaincy Committee, and as a congregational rabbi in Connecticut. His writings have appeared in a number of publications, including The Los Angeles Times, National Review Online, The Daily Wire, The Forward, The Public Discourse, and Mosaic.

Christine Rosen

American Enterprise Institute

Christine Rosen is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where she focuses on American history, society and culture, technology and culture, and feminism. Concurrently she is a columnist for Commentary magazine and one of the cohosts of The Commentary Magazine Podcast. She is also a fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and a senior editor in an advisory position at the New Atlantis. Her previous positions include editor of In Character, managing editor of the Weekly Standard, and distinguished visiting scholar at the Library of Congress.

Dr. Rosen is the author or coauthor of many books and book chapters. Her books include The Extinction of Experience (W. W. Norton, forthcoming); Acculturated: 23 Savvy Writers Find Hidden Virtue in Reality TV, Chick Lit, Video Games, and Other Pillars of Pop Culture (Templeton Press, 2011) with Naomi Schaefer Riley; My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Girlhood(PublicAffairs, 2005), which was named one of the best nonfiction books of the year by the Washington PostPreaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement(Oxford University Press, 2004); The Feminist Dilemma: When Success Is Not Enough (AEI Press, 2001); and Women’s Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economic Progress of Women in America (AEI Press, 1999).

Dr. R.J. Snell

R.J. Snell is the 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.

Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels, PhD

Benjamin J. Samuels has served as rabbi of Cong. Shaarei Tefillah of Newton Centre since 1995 and teaches widely in the Boston Jewish community. He earned his semikhah (rabbinical ordination) from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, holds a PhD in Science, Philosophy, and Religion from Boston University, and received an MA in Biblical Studies and Medieval Jewish History, and a BA in English Literature from Yeshiva University.

Mr. Dovid Schwartz

Dovid Schwartz teaches a Great Books course at Heichal Hatorah Yeshiva High School in New Jersey. He graduated from Yeshiva University having majored in Philosophy and minored in Jewish Studies. Before college, Dovid learned at Yeshivat Kerem b’Yavneh and Yeshivat Har Etzion. He has been the recipient of several fellowships from organizations including the Henry Salvatori Center, Hertog Foundation, and Tikvah Fund. Dovid currently lives in Teaneck, New Jersey, with his wife and daughter and he plans on pursuing a career in law.

Dr. Sarah Skwire

Sarah Skwire is Director of Communications and Senior Fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc., a non-profit educational foundation and the co-author of the college writing textbook, Writing with a Thesis, which is in its 12th edition. Sarah has published a range of academic articles on subjects from Shakespeare to zombies and the broken window fallacy, and her work has appeared in journals as varied as Religions, Literature and Medicine, The George Herbert Journal, and The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. She has written frequently for FEE, the Fraser Institute, Bleeding Heart Libertarians, and other print and digital outlets. Sarah’s work on literature and economics has also appeared in Newsweek, The Freeman, and in Cato Unbound, and she is an occasional lecturer for IHS, SFL, and other organizations. She has been featured on podcasts such as Economic Rockstars and Imaginary Worlds. Her poetry has appeared, among other places, in Standpoint, The New Criterion, and The Vocabula Review. She graduated with honors in English from Wesleyan University, and earned an MA and PhD in English from the University of Chicago.

 

Dr. Benjamin Storey

Benjamin Storey is the Jane Gage Hipp Professor of Politics and International Affairs. He is the Director of Furman's Tocqueville Program, an intellectual community dedicated to investigating the moral and philosophic questions at the heart of political life. He has been awarded the Alester G. and Janie Earle Furman award for Meritorious Teaching. He is a Visiting Fellow in the Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies Division of the American Enterprise Institute, and has previously been a Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With Jenna Silber Storey, he is author of "Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment" (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021).

Dr. Jenna Storey

Jenna Silber Storey is an assistant professor in Politics and International Affairs at Furman University, executive director of Furman’s Tocqueville Program, and a board member of Veritas Preparatory School in Greenville, SC, where her three children are currently studying. In 2018- 2019 she won the Silas N. Pearman award for teaching in Furman’s first-year Engaged Living Program. Dr. Storey received her PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and her BA from the University Professors Program at Boston University. Her work has appeared in edited volumes as well as in Perspectives on Political Science, The Washington Post, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, First Things, realclearbooks.com, The New Atlantis, VoeglinView, and The Boston Globe. She co-authored a book with her husband, Benjamin Storey, Why We are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment, which was published by Princeton University Press in 2021.

Mrs. Shuli Taubes

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. She previously 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.

Sarah Wapner

Ms. Sarah Wapner is a program manager at a private foundation in New York City. She previously served as the impact and recruitment officer at the Yeshiva University Straus Center, and taught humanities at Bnei Akiva Schools 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 the Krauthammer Fellowship (2021-2022) as well as fellowships at the Tikvah Fund, the Hertog Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute. Sarah has served as a faculty member on several of Tikvah’s educational programs, including Tikvah Online Academy, the Truman Scholars Program, the Millstone Scholars Program, and the Tikvah Scholars Program.

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 Mind, Azure, City Journal, First 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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