Mahloket Matters Fellowship

We live in a moment of unprecedented breakdown in civil discourse. Yet, our Jewish tradition upholds the principle that constructive disagreement for the sake of heaven (Mahloket L’Shem Shamayim), is not only imperative but the holy work needed to repair what can feel like irreconcilable differences that permeate within our Jewish communities. Guided by the belief that Jewish texts and their diverse interpretations can empower us to engage more constructively in disagreements today, Pardes North America (PNA) has launched its second year of the Mahloket Matters Fellowship. 

The fellowship will consist of two essential components:

  1. Group Study & Individual Mentorship – Fellows will learn Pardes’s renowned Mahloket Matters curriculum and be given individual mentorship by PNA. Each fellow will receive a generous stipend of  $500 for their time and participation in these sessions.
  2. Communal Action – As part of their participation in the fellowship, fellows will be asked to transpose the inspiration and learning into a community engagement initiative (in a way that balances local creativity and a handful of globally established metrics) for their communities back home. Each fellow will receive a $500 community engagement fund to support the development of their own communal MM study groups and/or community engagement initiatives inspired by MM learning. For more information, please click here for the requirements.

By participating in the MM Fellowship, fellows will: 

  • Receive both professional mentorship and financial support
  • Immerse in highly relevant Pardes Torah they can then use to serve their own Jewish communities back home
  • Become a critical voice in a movement to help foster respectful dialogue across NA
  • Join a strong network of colleagues 

Judaism teaches that constructive disagreement for the sake of heaven (Mahloket L’shem Shamayim) is the holy work needed to repair seemingly irreconcilable differences. But it doesn’t happen on its own. Pardes North America, in partnership with the Rabbinical Assembly, is honored to present its second RA Mahloket Matters Fellowship cohort, consisting of outstanding rabbinical educators.

Over the course of seven sessions, fellows will explore a methodology of text study that delves into complex and contradictory narratives and then apply this methodology in their own work by creating programs that increase the desire and ability to understand and engage more constructively with conflicting political opinions today, thereby improving civil discourse. The fellowship will consist of two essential components:

  1. Group Study & Individual Mentorship – Fellows will learn Pardes’s renowned Mahloket Matters curriculum and be given individual mentorship by PNA. Each fellow will receive a generous stipend of $300 for their time and participation in these sessions.
  2. Communal Action – As part of their participation in the fellowship, fellows will be asked to transpose the inspiration and learning into a community engagement initiative (in a way that balances local creativity and a handful of globally established metrics) for their communities back home. Each fellow will receive a $500 community engagement fund to support the development of their own communal MM study groups and/or community engagement initiatives inspired by MM learning. For more information, please click here for the requirements.

Dates: 7 virtual sessions // Thursdays, June 2-July 21 (No session on July 14)

Stipend: Each fellow will receive a $300 stipend for their participation, as well as a $500 community engagement fund.

Application: Click here to apply. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Applications are due Friday, May 20.

Pardes North America invites Hillel professionals of all Jewish learning backgrounds to apply for the NEW Immersive Summer Fellowship in Jerusalem, July 10-28, 2022, with a focus on Mahloket Matters: Healing our Broken Discourse.

The Fellowship is a cohort-based learning experience within the larger Pardes Summer Program. Fellows immerse in Jewish text study, touring and building community alongside our dynamic, intergenerational and international Summer Program student body, while also coming together multiple times a week as a smaller affinity group to study and workshop Jewish ideas and texts on the theme of navigating conflict constructively.

The Fellowship is open to Hillel professionals in programming and education roles returning to North American campuses. Fellows commit to translating their personal summer study in Jerusalem into meaningful learning experiences designed to support their campus communities around contentious issues, with Jewish wisdom and text as an anchor.

Click here to learn more about the Immersive Summer Fellowship

Click here to learn more about the Pardes Summer Program.

For any questions please contact Darielle Shandler, Pardes North America Programs Associate, at darielle@pardes.org.

Meet Our Winter Fellows!

Future Changemakers Leadership Cohort

The Future Changemakers Leadership Cohort is designed for up-and-coming Rabbis and Jewish Educators who are either currently in rabbinical/graduate school or in their first 4 years of working in the Jewish world.

Dr. Yehuda Silberman is currently a Facilitator for the International Center for religion and Diplomacy and also serves as a Coach in the Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge Program for the International Research & Exchanges Board. 

Rabbi Samuel Kaye is currently the Associate Rabbi of the Temple in Atlanta, Georgia, and beginning in June will be the Associate Rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, Ontario.

Rebecca Krasner has served in a variety of roles within the Jewish community and is currently the Director of the Center City Kehilah in Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia.

Rabbi Kyle Savitch is one of the co-founders of the Harlem Moishe House and is currently the rabbi of Kehillat Harlem in New York City.

Karolyn Benger is a student at Yeshivah Maharat, a board
member of the Arizona Interfaith Movement, the Vice Chair of the Human  Relations Commission for the City of Phoenix, and serves on the Jewish Advisory Board for the Phoenix Police Department. 

Michaela Slutsky is an Education Consultant for Independent and Inclusive Models at The Jewish Education Project. Michaela  was the founding Director of RUACH: Emotional and Spiritual Support, an online  mental health platform to support the Jewish  community at the beginning of the pandemic.

Emily Goldberg Winer is in her fourth year at Yeshivat
Maharat in Riverdale, NY. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and Master’s student at Yeshiva University.

Dr. David Orenstein is a Senior Research Analyst in Education and Media at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis in Massachusetts. He is a recipient of the Leonore and Louis Piser Prize in Jewish Studies.

Rabbi Daniel K. Alter is the Director of Education
for Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, MI.

Cantor Marc Stober is currently serving as Education Director and  Cantor at Temple Israel in Manchester, New Hampshire along with being a teacher and prayer leader at several other congregations including Temple Beth David of Westwood, Massachusetts and Congregation Miskhan Tefilah of Brookline, Massachusetts.

Pardes Alumni Leadership Cohort

The Pardes Alumni Leadership Cohort is designed as a special PNA opportunity for Pardes Alumni who live in North America. This cohort will be an intergenerational cohort of fellows from various years at Pardes.

Dr. Sharon Pollin is currently Education Director of Congregation Shaarie Torah, co-chairs her local Women’s Giving Circle and serves as a mentor to Jewish professionals. As Head of School she successfully led the revitalization of the Jewish Community Day  School of Greater New  Orleans.

After studying at Pardes in
Jerusalem and the Adamah Fellowship, Tadea Klein serves as the Costume Designer & Farmer at Double Edge Theatre and a lay member of Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton.

Rabbi Tobie Weisman is the
Director of Jewish Communities of Vermont and  PJ Library in Vermont. She is the Founding Director of the Yearning for Learning Center for Jewish Studies.

Renato Huarte Cuéllar is a professor at Universidad
Hebraica in Mexico City. He has dealt with different traditions in philosophy and the use of texts and their translations, specifically in Jewish traditions. He has worked in different non-formal educational projects like Limmud and has translated several texts from Hebrew into Spanish.

Cantor Jana Schachter teaches religious school at Congregation B’nai Tikvah-Beth Israel in Sewell, NJ and teaches a Shabbat morning Torah study class at Congregation Beth Chaim in Princeton Junction, NJ.

Johanna Press is an Assistant Director at Eden Village Camp. She was an Education Fellow at
Yeshivat Hadar and a Machar Fellow at Abraham Joshua
Heschel High School.

Elisheva Gray lives and works in Victoria, B.C., where she is active in the Jewish community and is a lay leader.

Lilyfish Gomber is currently  working as the Springboard Ezra Jewish Education Fellow at Vanderbilt Hillel. LilyFish has worked for several Jewish organizations, including Keshet, Repair the World, the Jewish Community Day School of Boston, and Camp Havaya , and hopes to someday  become a Reconstructionist Rabbi.

Erica Riddick (she/they) is the founder of Jews of Color Sanctuary, and creator of the Bilhah Zilpah Project. She is currently creating and teaching text studies for Ammud Jews of Color Torah Academy and Mayyim Hayyim. Erica was the 2021
Hollander Social Justice Fellow of the National Havurah Committee Summer Institute, and a 2018 JewV’Nation Fellow.

Mira Shore is a newly graduated psychologist living and working in Philadelphia. In addition to her work as a therapist, she is a Hebrew school teacher and bnai-mitzvah tutor.

Binyamin Cohen is a Jewish Studies teacher at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School in Deerfield, IL. He completed his Master’s in Jewish Education through Pardes Day School Educators Program in conjunction with Hebrew College.

Ben Soloway has 20 years of experience working as a Jewish Educator in informal, classroom, in-person and virtual educational settings in the UK, Israel and the US. Ben is the first person with a pre-existing physical disability to become a Government Licensed Tour Guide in Israel. 

Andrew Spector is Co-Founder and Program Director of Tulsa Changemakers, a youth leadership development and action organization. In 2018, Andrew was honored with ionOklahoma’s NextGen Under 30 Award.

Dr. Laurie Fisher has been a Jewish educator for over twenty years ranging from bnai mitzvah tutor to synagogue education director to day school teacher to professor. She is currently a Hebrew and Judaics teacher at Denver Jewish Day School and an adjunct professor at Gratz College.

Emily Simon has been an attorney since 1979 and was a Juvenile Defender until 2019. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oregon Defense Lawyers Association in 2013. Currently, she runs a mentorship program for Federal Criminal Defenders and is a Co-Chair of Ashland Oregon’s Social Equity and Racial Justice commission.

Fellowship Faculty

Rabbi Mike Uram

Rabba Shani Gross

Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield

Sefi Kraut