Pardes Appoints Director of North American Programs



(NEW YORK, NY- April 16, 2019) The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies ( announced that current Assistant Director of Education in North America, Shani Gross, will assume the position of Director of North American Programs this summer. Shani will continue to create and implement programming, learning retreats, and educational materials directed towards Pardes’s  alumni, Jewish professionals in the field, and Pardes’s strategic partners in North America.

“The creation of this new position of Director of North American Programs is a major step forward in realizing our vision of expanding our presence in North America,” shared Rabbi Leon A. Morris, President of Pardes. “Shani is particularly well-suited to leverage the power of our alumni and their friends to build new programs for learning that reflect the depth and diversity that has characterized Pardes for almost five decades.”

“I am thrilled for Pardes that Shani will be expanding our work in North America,” shared Director of Education North America, Rabba Yaffa Epstein. “Shani has both the vision and the talent to take Pardes to the next level in North America, and to continue developing our growing presence on the ground. I can’t wait to see what she can and will accomplish for Pardes, and for the Jewish people.”

Pardes is excited to continue expanding our work in North America by building more opportunities for our alumni and the wider Jewish community to experience the unique Pardes blend of deep and relevant Jewish learning, diverse community and transformative Havruta study.

“Over the past year I’ve had the immense privilege to work directly with Rabba Yaffa Epstein and the entire Pardes team, dreaming up a vision for how to bring Pardes’s unique Torah to North American Jewry,” Shani Gross shared. “I am excited and humbled to carry out this collective vision, and to bring the very teachers and Torah that continues to be so foundational to my own Jewish experience to communities around North America.”

Shani Gross is a Pardes alumna, Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar, and former Hillel Fellow for Rabbinic Entrepreneurship. Shani served as the Rabbinic Intern at Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim and the Hillel at Hunter College. She was the Director of the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash, a pluralistic center of learning on the West Coast. She earned a dual degree in Jewish Studies and Marketing from Stern College at Yeshiva University and will be receiving Rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat this June.


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The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies ( is an open, inclusive, diverse and intellectually challenging Jewish learning community based in Jerusalem with programs worldwide. Pardes cultivates a life-long love of Jewish learning, the Jewish people and Israel.  Pardes inspire engagement in Jewish life — as communal and spiritual leaders, educators and active participants.