Tali Adler, originally from Cedarhurst, NY, graduated summa cum laude from Stern College for Women, where she double majored in political science and Jewish studies and completed a senior thesis entitled “Blood, Margins, and Danger: Menstrual Purity Laws and Spanish Crypto-Jewish Women in Early Modern Spain”, for which she won the departmental award for excellence in Jewish history. At Stern, Tali was the Opinions editor for The Observer, the official Stern College for Women newspaper, a tutor in the writing center, and co-founder of The Beacon, an student-run publication. Tali has studied in a number of Jewish settings, including Midreshet Harova, Drisha, and Yeshivat Hadar, and has worked as a Jewish educator at BBYO, where she designed and taught a three week class on Jewish theology entitled “God Talk,” and the Jewish Journey Project, where she teaches a Jewish debate class. Tali lives in Washington Heights where she runs Kol B’Rama, a monthly partnership minyan.
Dina Brawer was born in Milan, Italy and studied in Jerusalem and New York. She holds a BA in Hebrew and Jewish Studies from the University of London and an MA in Education and Psychology from the Institute of Education, London. For close to fifteen years she has worked alongside her husband, a congregational rabbi. In this capacity she developed creative community education programs and was involved in strategic community development. Together they have recently co-launched Mishkan: The Jewish Community Beyond Borders.
Dina’s interest and passion in Orthodox feminism was seeded at the 2003 Kolech conference in Jerusalem and nurtured through JOFA conferences and events. In 2013 she launched JOFA UK as a platform to engage in communal discussions around religion and gender. She frequently lectures, writes and occasionally broadcasts to wide and diverse audiences. She ranked 55 in The Jewish Chronicle’s Power 100 List of individuals who are most influential in shaping the UK Jewish community.
Claudia Marbach received her BA in English from Barnard College, her JD from Boston University, and has studied at Michlalah and Pardes. This past year, she had two internships -- one at Hebrew Senior Life Long Term Care at Newbridge on Charles as a Chaplain Intern dealing with end of life issues and the other as Congregational intern at Congregation Beth David in West Hartford. She also launched a pop-up beit midrash for women called One Night Shtender. This year she will be teaching a monthly Beit Midrash in West Hartford. Before starting at Yeshivat Maharat, Claudia was a middle school teacher at JCDS Boston, a pluralistic Jewish Day School, for fifteen years, where she developed a Rabbinics curriculum and taught tefillah, chagim, and moral reasoning. She has a particular interest in the teaching of pluralism, differentiated instruction and moral reasoning. She founded and co-runs a partnership minyan in Newton, MA, has been gabbait of a local women’s tefillah group, has tutored bnei mitzvot, and participates in interfaith dialogue through the Daughters of Abraham network.
Leah Sarna was writing her senior thesis at the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA about the prospect of women becoming Orthodox clergy when Rabba Sara was ordained in 2009. Ever since then, she had been waiting to matriculate at Yeshivat Maharat. She spent the time in between studying at the Beit Midrash for Women at Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion, Israel and Yale University in New Haven, CT. She graduated cum laude from Yale in May 2014 with a BA in Philosophy & Psychology, submitting a thesis entitled “Confession and the Problems of Soul Sharing.” In addition to her academic studies, she served as president of the Orthodox community and co-director of Dwight Hall: the Center for Public Service and Social Justice at Yale. She also participated in rigorous interfaith dialogue with Muslim and Evangelical students. Leah spent her summers learning Torah at the Drisha June Kollel and the Center for Modern Torah Leadership's Summer Beit Midrash, among other things. Leah has had the privilege of teaching Torah to adults in communities around the United States, and she spent this past summer teaching high school students at the Dr. Beth Samuels Drisha High School Program. Leah is currently a Wexner Graduate Fellow and a Clergy Intern at Hebrew Institute of White Plains.
Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez is a social worker, writer, educator, advocate, and student at Yeshivat Maharat (2018). Melissa combine her personal, professional, and educational experiences in order to establish meaningful Jewish experiences and connections wherever she goes.
Melissa graduated with undergraduate degrees in Psychology & Social Behavior and Sociology from he University of California, Irvine and received a Masters in Social Work with a health care concentration from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Melissa worked in oncology, hospice, and prenatal health education before transitioning into development and donor relations for Jewish non-profits, all the while exploring her passion for writing and social media. Immediately before beginning her studies at Yeshivat Maharat she spent two years learning in the batei midrash of Nishmat and Pardes in Jerusalem.
While at Yeshivat Maharat Melissa has had the opportunity to intern at JCC Manhattan, Global Day of Jewish Learning, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale - The Bayit, and Hillel International. Melissa is passionate about the future of Jewish communal organizations, and the need to be more intentional about what that means.