Rabba Yaffa Epstein Joins The Jewish Education Project as First-Ever Senior Scholar and Educator-in-Residence

To help refocus the place of the Jewish text in Jewish education, the Jewish Education Project is pleased to welcome Rabba Yaffa Epstein as the agency’s first senior scholar and educator-in-residence. In this new role, Rabba Epstein will elevate Jewish learning, focusing both on the Jewish educators the agency serves through professional development and creating lifelong learning opportunities for staff and management. the agency.

“Jewish educators are deeply committed to their work and exceptionally talented. It is the responsibility of our field to instill in them the knowledge and confidence to ground their pedagogy in Jewish texts – the very essence and beauty of Jewish life,” says David Bryfman, CEO of The Jewish Education Project. “Yaffa is perfectly positioned not only to teach Torah, but to welcome Torah back into all Jewish educational spaces, and in doing so, be both a teacher and a friend to Jewish educators. We are incredibly lucky to have him on the team.

Epstein ends her role as director of the Wexner Heritage program at the Wexner Foundation in July. While at the Wexner Foundation, she oversaw program design, program structure, and the leadership experience of volunteer leaders across North America. Prior to that, Epstein served as director of education for North America at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies and served as a faculty member. She was also a member of the faculties of Yeshivat Maharat and the Drisha Institute. Epstein taught in-depth courses on the Talmud, Rabbanic literature, Jewish liturgy, Jewish law, Jewish leadership, and women in Jewish law.

Rabba Epstein has served as Educator and Scholar-in-Residence for Dorot Fellowship in Israel, Moishe House, Jewish Federation of North America, Covenant Foundation, Nahum Goldmann Fellowship, Repair the World, Meorot Fellowship, KADIMA Fellowship, and The Jewish Education Project. She has spoken at Limmud events around the world, written a program for World Day of Jewish Learning, and created an innovative educational program for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. She trained rabbis and educators of all Jewish denominations.

She received rabbinical ordination from Yeshivat Maharat, obtained additional private ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes, and holds a law degree from Bar-Ilan University.

“I am thrilled to join the outstanding team at the Jewish Education Project,” said Rabba Yaffa Epstein, new senior scholar and educator-in-residence at the Jewish Education Project. “The core values ​​of this innovative organization compel us to use learning to thrive and develop intentional learning communities. In my new role, I hope to bring relevant, in-depth and accessible learning of Jewish texts to our work at all levels of the organization and with different audiences. Jewish education is essential for Jewish people, and learning rich Jewish texts is essential to Jewish education. I am thrilled to embark on this sacred work!

Epstein will elevate Jewish learning within the agency’s educator professional development programs, major conferences and events, and curriculum projects. Internally, agency staff and secular leaders will also engage frequently with Epstein to deepen their knowledge and learning, modeling the values ​​of Jewish learning that the agency has embraced.

Bryfman adds, “Jewish education must always innovate to stay relevant, and text-based Jewish learning can be part of that innovation. This type of learning is inspiring, reflective and can be incredibly powerful. Yaffa can make our vision a reality.

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