Me'ah Faculty

Jay Berkowitz

Rabbi Jay R. Berkovitz, Ph.D.

Jay R. Berkovitz is professor of Judaic and Near Eastern studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He earned a Ph.D. at Brandeis University and rabbinic ordination (Orthodox) in Israel. His research focuses on early modern Jewish history and law. His newest book, “Protocols of Justice: The Rabbinic Court of Metz, 1771-1790,” is scheduled for publication by Brill Academic Publishers in 2013. Berkovitz is co-editor-in-chief of the academic journal Jewish History.

David Bernat

David Bernat, Ph.D.

David Bernat is the Jewish chaplain at Wellesely College, Babson College and Olin College of Engineering and has a visiting appointment in Judaic studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has been affiliated with Me'ah since 1998 and has led Meah's Bible/Rabbinics summer Israel tour. Bernat holds a bachelor’s degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in biblical studies from Brandeis University.

Marc Brettler

Marc Brettler, Ph.D.

Marc Brettler is the Dora Golding Professor of Bible in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University, where he was awarded the Michael L. Walzer Teaching Prize. He is the author of many articles on literary and historical aspects of biblical texts, including being co-editor of “The Jewish Study Bible” (Oxford University Press; 2004), winner of a National Jewish Book Award in 2004. Brettler has been a Me’ah instructor since the program’s inception.

Reuven Cohn

Rabbi Reuven Cohn, J.D.

Reuven Cohn is an adult Jewish educator and an attorney. He is a veteran teacher in the Me’ah program and also teaches for the Me'ah Graduate Institute, Hebrew College Online and Maimonides School. He holds rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University and a law degree from Yale and has done advanced graduate work in Jewish studies at Harvard University. Among his areas of interest are Jewish interpretations of the Bible, the literary development of the Mishnah and Talmud, and history of the prayer book.

shaye j.d. cohen

Rabbi Shaye J.D. Cohen, Ph.D.


Shaye J. D. Cohen is an ordained rabbi and the Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. Before arriving at Harvard in 2001, he was for 10 years the Samuel Ungerleider Professor of Judaic Studies and professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. The focus of Cohen's research is the boundary between Jews and gentiles and between Judaism and its surrounding culture. He is also a published authority on Jewish reactions to Hellenism and to Christianity.

jonathan decter

Jonathan Decter, Ph.D.

Jonathan Decter is the Edmond J. Safra Professor of Sephardic Studies at Brandeis University. He is the author of "Iberian Jewish Literature: Between al-Andalus and Christian Europe" (Indiana University Press), which was awarded the Salo W. Baron prize for best first book in Jewish studies, in 2007. He is also the co-editor, with Michael Rand, of "Studies in Arabic and Hebrew Letters in Honor of Raymond P. Scheindlin" (Gorgias Press) and co-editor, with Arturo Pratts, of "The Hebrew Bible in the Fifteenth Century" (Brill). Decter earned a Ph.D. in medieval Jewish studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

jonathan gribetz

Jonathan Gribetz, Ph.D.

Jonathan Gribetz is assistant professor of Jewish studies and history at Rutgers University, where he teaches courses on the Jewish, Christian and Islamic history of Jerusalem; Jews in the Islamic world; the Arab-Israeli conflict; Jewish nationalism; and the modern Jewish experience. For the 2013-14 academic year, he is on leave as a Starr Fellow in Judaica at Harvard University. An intellectual-cultural historian with a particular interest in the study of Jews in the modern Middle East, Gribetz's first book, forthcoming from Princeton University Press, focuses on the encounter between Jews and Arabs (both Christians and Muslims) in fin de siècle Palestine and in the broader region. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University.

Lynne Heller

Lynne Heller, Ph.D.

Lynne Heller has taught in Hebrew College’s Kol Isha, as well as Ma’ayan, CJP's Genesis program and Parenting Through a Jewish Lens. Most recently, she taught Bible in the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. Heller holds a Ph.D in English and comparative literature from New York University and is a graduate of the MIDRASA, Hebrew Teachers College, established by the Yeshivah of Flatbush in New York City.

Dan Judson

Rabbi Dan Judson

Dan Judson is the director of professional development and placement at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. Before that, he served for 10 years as the spiritual leader of Temple Beth David of the South Shore in Canton, Mass. In 2003, he was the Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow at Harvard University. Judson has co-authored a number of books on Jewish rituals. His articles on American Jewish history have appeared in various journals. Judson is a doctoral candidate in Jewish history at Brandeis University, where his research focuses on the history of synagogues and money.

Deeana Copeland Klepper

Deeana Copeland Klepper, Ph.D. 

Deeana Copeland Klepper is associate professor of history and religion at Boston University, where she teaches a variety of courses on the religious culture of the Middle Ages. She has published articles on late-medieval Christian-Jewish relations and is completing a book on polemics, interpretation and Jewish texts in the Middle Ages. Klepper holds a Ph.D. in medieval European history from Northwestern University.

Shari Lowin

Shari Lowin, Ph.D.

Shari Lowin is associate professor of religious studies at Stonehill College. She previously taught at the University of Chicago, Yeshiva University, Brooklyn College and in Ma’ayan. Lowin is fluent in Arabic and has researched and published on a number of topics comparing Judaism and Islam. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Maud Mandel

Maud Mandel, Ph.D.

Maud Mandel is associate professor of Judaic studies and history at Brown University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan. She teaches courses on many aspects of modern Jewish history, including history of the Holocaust, Zionism and the birth of the state of Israel, and history of American Jews.

Natan Margalit

Rabbi Natan Margalit, Ph.D.

Natan Margalit  is spiritual leader of The Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life, in western Connecticut, and visiting rabbi at Congregation Adas Yoshuron, in Rockville, Maine. After graduating from Reed College with a degree in anthropology, he went on to receive rabbinic ordination at The Jerusalem Seminary and earn a Ph.D. in Talmud from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jacob Meskin

Jacob Meskin, Ph.D.

Jacob Meskin both teaches in and trains faculty for Hebrew College's Jewish adult-learning program, Me'ah, and is one of the co-authors of the curriculum for Parenting Through A Jewish Lens, in which he also teaches. In addition, he works as a consultant on adult Jewish education and teacher training in the Boston area. Prior to joining Hebrew College, Meskin was the inaugural holder of the Ruderman Chair in Jewish Studies at Northeastern University and taught at Princeton University, Rutgers University, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University, Williams College and Lehigh University. His articles have appeared in Modern Judaism, The Journal of Religion, Soundings, Levinas Studies, Judaism, Cross Currents and in several edited volumes.

judith rosenbaum

Judith Rosenbaum, Ph.D.

Judith Rosenbaum, a historian, educator and writer, has served since March 2014 as executive director of the Jewish Women's Archives, the world's leading organization chronicling the stories of Jewish women, past and present. A scholar of Jewish studies and women’s studies and the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Israel, Rosenbaum earned her doctorate in American civilization from Brown University. She has taught at Brown, Boston University and Gann Academy as well as Hebrew College, and has published articles in both academic and popular journals.

Benjamin Samuels

Rabbi Benjamin Samuels, Ph.D.

Rabbi Benjamin Samuels, a veteran Me’ah instructor, is the rabbi of Congregation Sha'arei Tefillah in Newton, Mass. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and master’s degrees in both Bible and medieval Jewish history from Yeshiva University. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in religion and science at Boston University.

Michael Satlow

Michael Satlow, Ph.D. 

Michael Satlow is professor of Judaic studies and religious studies at Brown University. He has developed a free podcast, "From Israelite to Jew," and an interactive database of inscriptions from Israel/Palestine. Satlow received a Ph.D. in ancient Judaism from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1993. He has held fellowships from the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Meir Sendor

Rabbi Meir Sendor, Ph.D.

Rabbi Meir Sendor has served for more than 20 years as spiritual leader of Young Israel of Sharon. He holds rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University and a doctorate in medieval Jewish history from Harvard University. Sendor lectures widely on Jewish history, philosophy, law and mysticism.

Jeffrey Spitzer

Jeffrey Spitzer

Jeffrey Spitzer is the chair of the Department of Rabbinic Literature at Gann Academy, the New Jewish High School, in Waltham, Mass. Spitzer is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he did doctoral work on the social history of the ancient synagogue. In addition to his work with Me'ah and the Gann Academy, Spitzer is also on the interdenominational editorial board of BabagaNewz magazine, a Jewish values magazine for children in grades four through seven.

Educator-In-Residence 
Michael Shire Rabbi Michael Shire, Ph.D.

Rabbi Michael Shire is dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Education at Hebrew College. In addition to giving guest lectures, he will also be available to consult with Me'ah for Educators students. Shire received his doctorate and rabbinic ordination from Leo Baeck College London.