Rabba Avital Engelberg - Class of 2015


Rabba Avital Engelberg was a fellow of the Halakha program at Midreshet Lindenbaum, and  holds a B.A. in Theatre from Tel Aviv University, a Master’s degree in Talmud from Bar Ilan University, and a diploma in Group Facilitation. Avital taught Talmud at Yeshivat Maharat, and has taught and facilitated groups at various Jewish educational institutions in Israel, including Elul, Beit Midrash Alma, Midreshet Ein Prat, and Israel’s Bronfman Youth Fellowship Program. Today Avital teaches Talmud and Halacha in the Hartman Girls High school, and in Mechinat Ein Prat. She is also a board member of Ne'emanei Torah Va'Avodah movement.


Rabba Yaffa Epstein - Class of 2015

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Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as the Director of the Beit Midrash at the Dorot Fellowship in Israel. She has taught Talmud and Jewish Law at Yeshivat Maharat, The Wexner Heritage New Members Institute, The Drisha Institute, and Young Judaea. Yaffa has lectured at Limmud Events around the world, has written curriculum for the Global Day of Jewish Learning and has created innovative educational programming for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.

Wendy Amsellem - Class of 2018

Wendy Amsellem teaches Gemara and is the Internship Coordinator for Yeshivat Maharat.  She also serves as the Rosh Kollel of the Drisha July College Kollel for women and is a faculty member at Drisha. She is the former Director of the Dr. Beth Samuels High School Program and an alumna of the Drisha Scholars Circle. She is pursuing a PhD in Judaic Studies at New York University and has a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University.


Dr. Erin Leib Smokler - Class of 2018


Dr. Erin Leib Smokler is the Director of Spiritual Development at Yeshivat Maharat, where she teaches Chassidut and Pastoral Torah. She earned her PhD and MA from the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought and her BA from Harvard University. She is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute. Dr. Leib Smokler previously served as Assistant Literary Editor of The New Republic magazine, and her writing has appeared there, as well as in The New York Times Book Review, The Jerusalem Report, and The Jewish Week. 

Aliza Sperling - Class of 2018

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Aliza Sperling teaches Jewish text and thought classes to adults throughout the Washington DC area, and consults on curriculum and educational issues for a variety of Jewish organizations. She helped develop the Jewish Women's Renaissance Project post-trip curriculum.

Aliza is the Director of Curriculum Development and Adult Education at Shalom Learning, a new model for bringing Jewish education into the 21st Century. Previously she served as the academic director of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School of Greater Washington at the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning and taught Talmud and Tanakh to high school students at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. She founded and directed the Women’s Beit Midrash and Makom: Finding a Place for our Growing Girls at Ohev Sholom Congregation in Washington, DC. Prior to entering the world of Jewish education, she worked as an attorney at a private law firm and a public interest organization. She received her B.A. from Barnard College and J.D. from New York University School of Law. Aliza lives in Washington, DC with her husband and four children.

Miriam Udel - Class of 2018

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Miriam Udel currently works as an associate professor of German Studies and Jewish Studies at Emory University, where her teaching focuses on Yiddish language, literature, and culture. She holds a BA in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University, as well as a PhD in Comparative Literature from the same institution. She has also studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum and MaTaN in Jerusalem. Her academic research interests include 20th-century Yiddish literature and culture, Jewish children’s literature, and American-Jewish literature. She is the author of Never Better!: The Modern Jewish Picaresque (University of Michigan Press, 2016), winner of a National Jewish Book Award in Modern Jewish Thought and Experience. She is preparing an annotated, translated anthology of Yiddish children’s literature called Honey on the Page, slated to appear with New York University Press.