Orthodox Leaders Cohort
Jordanna Birnbaum Amsel
Program Officer, The Harold Grinspoon Foundation
Jordanna serves as a Program Officer for PJ Library, a program of The Harold Grinspoon Foundation where she manages grants and works with 60+ partner organizations. Jordanna is also a proud founding member of the Orthodox Leadership Project and mentor for the Educational Alliance College Prep Program.
Shira Hecht Koller
Instructor Of Talmud And Jewish Law, Sar High School
Shira Hecht-Koller teaches Talmud at SAR High School in Riverdale, NY. She received her B.A. in Biology from Yeshiva University and was a Golding Scholar at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where she was an Associate Editor of the Cardozo Law Review. She studied at both Michlala Jerusalem College for Women and in the Bruriah Scholars Program at Midreshet Lindenbaum. She is a founding member of the Orthodox Leadership Project. She writes, speaks and educates on the topics of Jewish Law and Education as well as on topics of creative living and family life. She is the proud mother of Dalya, Shachar and Amitai.
Rabba Sara Hurwitz
Dean, Yeshivat Maharat
Rabba Sara Hurwitz is on the Rabbinic staff at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and serves as Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, the first Orthodox program to ordain women as clergy. Rabba Sara graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University and completed Drisha’s three-year Scholars Circle Program. She was ordained in 2009 by Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Daniel Sperber. Rabba Sara was awarded the Hadassah Foundation Bernice S. Tannenbaum prize in 2013. She was named as one of the Jewish Week’s 36 under 36, the Forward50 most influential Jewish leaders, Newsweek’s 50 most influential rabbis three years in a row, and is a Bikkurim fellow.
Congregational Scholar, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun
Gilah Kletenik is the Congregational Scholar at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. Gilah earned a Masters from the Graduate Program for Women in Biblical and Talmudic Interpretation at Yeshiva University. She has served as a Talmud instructor at Ramaz Upper School and regularly teaches and lectures in a variety of Jewish institutions. Gilah is one of The Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36,” is an inaugural recipient of The Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow.
Erin Leib Smokler
Director of Spiritual Development, Yeshivat Maharat
Erin Leib Smokler is the Director of Spiritual Development at Yeshivat Maharat, the world’s first rabbinical school for Orthodox women, and an instructor of Jewish philosophy at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. She is also completing her PhD at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought as a Claims Conference Advanced Shoah Studies Fellow. Erin holds an MA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Harvard University. Her writing has been featured in The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, The Jerusalem Report, The New York Jewish Week, and JOFA’s Shema Bekolah.
Assistant Professor, New York Medical College
Yardaena Osband, MD is an assistant professor in pediatrics at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. Yardaena studies for two years in Midreshet Lindenbaum and received her BA in Jewish Studies and Music at Yeshiva University, Stern College for Women. Yardaena attended medical school at the Sackler School for medicine and completed her residency in Pediatrics at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, New York. She has taught at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, Midreshet Lindenbaum, Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, and for GPATS at Yeshiva University. Additionally she lectures at synagogues and private homes. Yardaena also serves on the board of ORA- Organization for the Resolution of Agunot. Yardaena currently resides in Riverdale, New York with husband and four children.
Dr. Michelle Sarna
Director of Educational Alliance Preschool, Educational Alliance
Assistant Principal & Israel Guidance, SAR High School
Elana Stein Hain
Community Scholar, Lincoln Square Synagogue
Elana Stein Hain has served as Community Scholar at Lincoln Square Synagogue for the past five years, offering Jewish leadership, support and education to her community. She is concurrently completing a doctorate in a Religion at Columbia University with a focus on rabbinic legal loopholes, and she teaches undergraduates at New York University as part of a new minor in Religious Life and Leadership. This year, Ms. Stein Hain is also a Tikvah Fellow. She lives on the Upper West Side with her husband Yonah and son Azzan.
Director of Recruitment, Yeshivat Maharat
Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg currently serves as the Director of Recruitment for Yeshivat Maharat. She previously served as the Rosh Moshava of Camp Stone. She also taught Jewish History and other Jewish studies at Yeshiva University High School for Girls. Sharon earned her PhD in Education and Jewish Studies at New York University. Sharon previously worked for OU-JLIC at Harvard Hillel and served as the first woman Orthodox chaplain for Harvard University. She studied at Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. She received her MA in Education and her BA in Sociology and Jewish History from Yeshiva University.
Director of Education and Community Engagement, Sefaria.org.
Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld is the director of education and community engagement at Sefaria.org. She served as JLIC educator and director of education at Princeton University’s Center for Jewish Life for five years. Sara has taught Talmud and Jewish Law at a variety of synagogues and schools, including at the Drisha Institute, and at United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston. Sara holds a BA in Judaica and Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, and studied Talmud and Jewish Law at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Drisha, Pardes, Nishmat,and Beit Morashah. She lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and four children.