This winter, the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash is privileged to offer an amazing set of local an international teachers for it’s winter learning seminar.
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 Drisha Institute, The Wexner Heritage New Member Institute, Kayam Farm Kollel 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.
Jonah Hassenfeld is a PhD candidate in Education and Jewish Studies at Stanford University. He is a Jim Joseph Fellow and a Wexner Fellow/Davidson Scholar. He researches the nature and development of high school students’ historical understanding with a focus on the teaching and learning of Jewish history. Before coming to Stanford, Jonah taught European history and the history of Israel at Gann Academy, a Jewish community high school outside of Boston.
Rabbi David Booth is the Founder and Rosh Yeshiva/Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash and the spiritual leader of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto. He was educated at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He frequently teaches on the intersection of Talmud, law, ethics, and spirituality. His teaching and learning interests include Jewish philosophy, with particular focus on the works of Heschel and Levinas, as well as Hasidut and the Sfat Emet. Inspiring others to develop tools to uncover meaning in Rabbinic and Jewish philosophical texts is his great passion.
Ziva R. Hassenfeld: Ziva earned her B.A. from New York University in an interdisciplinary study of Economics, Political Philosophy and Israel Studies. She spent two years studying Jewish texts at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, before earning an M.A from Brandeis University in Teaching. Ziva taught at Gann Academy in Boston for four years, where she trained students to use multiple approaches to interpreting the Bible. Ziva is a doctoral student at Stanford University in the School of Education with a concentration in Jewish Studies. Her doctoral work focuses on student meaning-making with Biblical texts. Ziva is a Davidson Wexner fellow.