What is Tikvah Online Academy?

For many years, Tikvah has advanced its mission through a wide variety of residential seminars and summer programs. Tikvah Online Academy brings this kind of learning—with small classes, master teachers, and spirited discussions—to an even larger number of students through live, online seminars of 12-15 students.

Like our residential programs, Tikvah Online Academy seeks to offer the highest-level learning on Jewish culture and civilization, the history and heroes of Israel, the future of American democracy, the fight against anti-Semitism, and the principles of a free economy and free society.

Meet Our Team

Rabbi Mark Gottlieb


Rabbi Mark Gottlieb is Senior Director of the Tikvah Fund and founding Dean of the Tikvah Institute for High School Students at Yale University and Tikvah Online Academy. 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.


Irina Rakhlis

Director, Tikvah Online Academy

Irina Rakhlis is the Director of Tikvah Online Academy. Irina is a co-founder of Jewish Parent Academy (JPA) and served on the board of Mazel Day School for over 10 years. She is a COJECO Keystone Fellow and has consulted on multiple projects focused on the Russian-speaking Jewish community, including Leadership Development Programs and a Conference for Professionals working with RSJ Communities across North America. Prior to joining Tikvah, Irina spent 13 years as an investment and corporate banker. In her leisure time, Irina can be found researching her next travel destination, working on a thousand piece puzzle, discussing the next big idea for strengthening the Jewish community, and spending time with her husband and 3 daughters.


Raina Weinstein

Assistant Director of Teaching and Education

Raina Weinstein is Assistant Director of Teaching and Education at Tikvah Online Academy. Originally from Washington, DC, she attended JPDS-NC (now the Milton Gottesman Day School) and Sidwell Friends School. Raina went on to study at the University of Chicago as a Stamps Scholar, and she graduated with a degree in Fundamentals. Her studies have taken her to Jerusalem, Berlin, and Dushanbe (Tajikistan). She is an alumna of several Tikvah programs, including the Tikvah College Fellowship, and has taught for Tikvah Online Academy and the Truman Scholars Program.

Mendel Jacobson

Program Director, Great Speeches Program

Mendel Jacobson is Program Director of Tikvah Online Academy’s Great Speeches Program and Assistant Director of the Abraham Lincoln Teachers Fellowship. He graduated from the Central Chabad Yeshiva in 2020, where he studied Jewish law and mysticism and was rabbinically ordained. Mendel is a federally certified prison chaplain and has visited Jewish inmates in over thirty prisons across the United States. Mendel is currently an Antonin Scalia Fellow at the Public Interest Fellowship and has completed fellowships with the Tikvah Fund, American Enterprise Institute, and Hertog Foundation.


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