Core Semikha, Class of 2024
Adina Roth is a Jewish educator and Clinical Psychologist in Johannesburg, South Africa. After spending a year in Jerusalem studying at Pardes and coordinating the Kol Isha women’s leadership programme, Adina returned to South African and completed a Masters in Contemporary Literature comparing Hassidic and Post-Modern readings of Bereshit. She then went on to do a second Masters at New York University on a Fulbright scholarship where she did her thesis on post-colonial and psychoanalytic readings of Shemot. While in New York, Adina studied at Drisha and simultaneously discovered yoga and free-style dance classes. Since then she has remained interested in integrating intellectual experiences with the body. After her time in New York, Adina returned to South Africa and founded B’tocham Education, an after-school programme for B’nei Mitzvah. She has developed a full curriculum for her students and integrates art and poetry into her pedagogy. She also teaches girls as well as boys to lein for their coming of age rituals. In addition to taking b’nei mitzvah through traditional rites of passage such as Torah chanting and d’var Torah, Adina’s bat mitzvah students spend a day in the mountains, creating innovative Jewish ritual to mark and welcome the changes taking place in their bodies.
Adina has taught courses for Melton and also runs her own courses in Tanach for adults, integrating traditional commentaries, Midrash, Hassidut and literature and psychoanalysis. Fourteen years later, B’tocham education has expanded into a programme that welcomes kids from Year K through to bar and bat mitzvah for a programme of Hebrew literacy and Jewish studies. A co-founder of the Jozi Partnership minyan, Adina also works as a Clinical Psychologist and lives in Johannesburg with her husband Farryl who is a physical therapist and musician and her two children Maya and Adam. She loves to jog, spend time in nature and listen to podcasts and is so excited to be joining Yeshivat Maharat this year.