Our Faculty

MRS. SABRINA BURGER

Degree: B.A., English and Art History, Hebrew University; M.A., Clinical Psychology, Lesley University (Ongoing)

Sabrina Burger lived in Israel for 12 years. She received her B.A. in English and art history at Hebrew University and attended the Bezalel School of Art and Design. She studied rabbinic texts and Hasidic philosophy at the Nishmat Center for Advanced Torah Studies and Midreshet Bat Ayin. A dynamic educator, Sabrina has taught adults for CJP, Hebrew College, Ma’ayan and in private classes, where she integrates Torah learning, the arts and parenting skills. She also teaches and develops textual material for the Binah School in Sharon.  Sabrina is a candidate for a masters in clinical psychology from Lesley University.

SARAH CHESES

Degree: Masters of Public Health from Columbia, B.A. in Biology with Honors from Stern College

Sarah Cheses is a graduate of Nishmat’s Yoetzet Halacha Program and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University and a B.A. in Biology with Honors from Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women. Sarah has previously taught at Ulpanot Orot High School in Toronto and at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in Teaneck, NJ. She has been involved with informal Jewish education through her role as Co-Director of the Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) at Yale, as a part-time JLIC educator in Toronto-area universities and through Camp Stone and NCSY.

RABBI REUVEN COHN

Degree: Ordination, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, YU Graduate degree, Education, Yeshiva University J.D., Yale Law School

Rabbi Reuven Cohn received his ordination and a graduate degree in Education from Yeshiva University, did advanced graduate work in Jewish Studies at Harvard University, and earned a law degree from Yale Law School. Designated a Ma’ayan Master Teacher, he has given numerous adult education classes in the Boston area and teaches for the Meah program, Hebrew College and Maimonides School.

MRS. ATARAH GALE

Degree: B.Ed. from Michlala College for Women in Jerusalem, Doctoral Candidate in Bible at the Bernard Revel Graduate School

Atarah Gale has taught at Stern College for Women,  Drisha Institute for Jewish Education and Hebrew College. She taught Tanach at Maimonides School for 18 years where she was Tanach Department Chair and ran the Chidon HaTanach program,  sending two national finalists from the high school to Israel  She earned her B.Ed. from Michlala College for Women in Jerusalem, and is currently pursuing a degree at Harvard University.

RABBI YAAKOV JAFFE

Degree: B.A., English Literature, Columbia University M.A., Bible, Yeshiva University Doctorate, Education, Yeshiva University Rabbinic Ordination, RIETS

Rabbi Yaakov Jaffe serves as the rabbi of the Maimonides Minyan, and as a member of the Judaic Studies Faculty at Maimonides School. He received his ordination and doctorate from Yeshiva University, where he holds graduate degrees in Bible, Jewish History, and Jewish Education. Besides teaching at Maayan, Rabbi Jaffe has lectured and written widely on topics in Medieval Jewish History, Jewish Education, and Jewish Law. Rabbi Jaffe’s unique approach to Tanach, Tefilah, and Hebrew poetry is informed by his BA in English literature from Columbia University and the historicist approach to the study of ancient texts.

RABBI ARYEH KLAPPER

Degree: Ordination, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), YU Doctoral Work, Talmud, Bernard Revel Graduate School, YU MA, Bible, Bernard Revel

Rabbi Aryeh Klapper is Dean of the Center for Modern Torah Leadership and Rosh Beit Midrash of its Summer Beit Midrash Program, and a member of the Boston Beit Din. He previously served as Orthodox Adviser and Associate Director for Education at Harvard Hillel and as Talmud Curriculum Chair at Maimonides High School. Rabbi Klapper publishes and lectures widely and is consulted internationally on issues of Jewish law.

RABBI DANI PASSOW

Degree: B.S., Engineering, Cooper Union; Ordination, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Dani Passow is the Orthodox Rabbi at Harvard Hillel and a Harvard University Chaplain.  A graduate of Cooper Union’s engineering school and formerly a researcher in chemistry and bio-engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, Dani has studied in a number of yeshivot in Israel, including Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshivat Maale Gilboa and received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. He lectures and writes frequently about Judaism and social justice and was awarded the 2010 Whizin Prize for Jewish ethics.

MRS. ORANIT SAADIA

Degree: B.A. in Math Education and Judaic Studies from Talpiyot College and a Masters in Leadership and Educational Management from Bar Ilan

Oranit Saadia teaches Limudei Kodesh to fourth graders at Maimonides School. She has two decades of teaching experience, both in Israel and the U.S., and has been heavily involved in youth leadership programs. She earned a B.A. in Math Education and Judaic Studies from Talpiyot College and a Masters in Leadership and Educational Management from Bar Ilan. She and her husband Dror are shlichim from the World Zionist Organization, and live with their three children in Newton.

RABBI BENJAMIN SAMUELS

Degree: Rabbinic ordination, B.A. in English literature, and Masters degrees in Bible and Medieval Jewish History from Yeshiva University

Rabbi Benjamin Samuels, Rabbi of Congregation Shaarei Tefillah of Newton Centre, received his ordination, B.A. in English literature, and Masters degrees in Bible and Medieval Jewish History from Yeshiva University. A Master Teacher for Ma’ayan and long-time faculty member, he is pursuing a doctorate in Science, Philosophy and Religion at Boston University.

KARYN SPERO

Degree: B.A. from Stern; M.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis.

Karyn Spero has an M.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, with a focus in Second Temple Judaism.  Following her B.A. from Stern College, she studied for the three years  at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education in New York.  Before moving to Boston, Karyn taught Tanakh in the Women’s Beit Midrash of the Torat Tzion Kollel in Cleveland, and has been teaching for Ma’ayan for the last few years on topics relating to Tanakh and Jewish history.  She taught Tanakh on the high school level at Gann Academy in Waltham and is currently teaching Tanakh at Maimonides High School, where she also develops educational programming as part the Student Life Team.