About Pardes North America

An Open Orchard: Deep Torah in Intimate Communities, Accessible to All

Pardes North America’s mission is to dramatically expand access to deep, accessible Torah learning experiences within intimate communities across North America. We see Jewish learning as a powerful tool to aid participants in accessing the Jewish ideas, communities, and rituals that could improve their lives, strengthen their relationships, and help build a better society.

Pardes North America will accomplish this in three different ways:

Embedded Partnerships with Jewish Organizations

Pardes North America is working with a number of major Jewish organizations as embedded partners to help expand their educational capacity in ways that help leaders (professional and volunteer) to both be inspired and be more inspiring themselves. Deep and accessible Torah learning is a powerful tool to help good leaders become great, and for those great leaders to remain resilient and creative. Pardes North America is uniquely positioned to partner with organizations due to its deep commitment to pluralism. Pardes North America provides text study experiences that are not only designed to be intellectually sophisticated, but also inspire excitement and commitment towards Jewish life.

Our Partners

We are proud to work with partners including Jewish Federations of North America, Moishe House, the Jewish Learning Collaborative, Birthright, Hillel International, BBYO and others.

Investment in 7000+ Pardes Alumni

Pardes alumni always speak about the “Pardes Effect.” If you spend time at our home in Jerusalem, you carry the learning, relationships, and mentors with you wherever you go afterwards. Pardes alumni go on to become leaders and changemakers in almost every Jewish community in North America. Now, it’s time for Pardes to reconnect and continue investing in our alumni’s Jewish life and learning.

Pardes North America is creating an array of fellowships, gatherings, and online learning opportunities that allow alumni to tap into Pardes Torah and reconnect with their Pardes family. We will also be empowering these alumni to become our ambassadors and create and convene new Torah learning circles within their communities and networks throughout North America.

Alumni Opportunities from Pardes North America

  • A new cohort of the Mahloket Matters Fellowship for alumni leaders.
  • Monthly meetups for alumni at the Chicago Base Hillel.
  • Online and in-person spirituality retreats with Or Halev.
  • Live online classes.
  • Hundreds of podcasts produced.
  • Microgrants available for alumni-led programming!

Fostering A Stronger Ecosystem for Jewish Learning

Pardes North America will seek out new opportunities to create and offer public ways to access Jewish learning that include podcasts, online learning, special days of learning, educational resources and learning series. Pardes North America faculty, fellows and staff will contribute articles, opinion pieces and new learning series that will apply the most profound ideas in Jewish text to help us address the most pressing issues facing our community and world today.

2021 Highlights

In the inaugural year alone, Pardes North America has contributed heavily to the Jewish learning ecosystem in North America, providing a wide variety of learning opportunities.

  • Pardes Online hosted 118 live events, reaching an audience of 4,000!
  • “Crisis & Kings,” one of our popular podcast series, reached an average of 1,795 downloads per episode.
  • Over 30,000 people tuned into listen to the 260 podcasts produced for Pardes Online.

Pardes North America Staff

Faith Leener
Chief Innovation Officer

Rabba Shani Gross
Senior Educational Advisor & Faculty

David Gutbezahl
Technology and Communications Specialist

Rabbi Monica Kleinman
Assistant Director of Programs

Sefi Kraut
Director of Mahloket Matters

Rebecca Leeman
Assistant Director of Engagement, North America

Haley Schulman
Director of North American Programming and Education

Jordyn Steifman
Assistant Director of Online Learning and Alumni Engagement

Pardes North America Faculty