Faculty Rabbinical School Leadership Team Realigns for the Future

By Adam Zemel
Hebrew College rabbinical students in the beit midrash

With gratitude and anticipation, Hebrew College is excited to announce our new Rabbinical School leadership team. These changes will take effect on July 1, 2024, as we leverage internal talent, lean into a collaborative leadership model, and continue to evolve our growing ordination program in innovative ways.

Rabbi Daniel Klein `10 will assume the role of Dean of the Rabbinical School. Rabbi Klein grew up in Newton, MA and has been a member of the Hebrew College community for over 20 years. As a teenager, he attended Prozdor, Hebrew College’s Hebrew High School, and Camp Yavneh, a Hebrew College affiliate. He earned his B.A. from The University of Chicago. After teaching middle school and high school social studies at a Jewish day school, Rabbi Klein entered the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College and was ordained in 2010.

Rabbi Klein has been a pivotal leader in the Hebrew College community for 14 years, initially serving as Director of Admissions and Recruitment, and then Dean of Students. In his new capacity, Rabbi Klein will be responsible for the overall leadership of the Rabbinical School.

“[Daniel’s] devotion to our sacred educational mission is deep, abiding, and intuitive,” says Hebrew College President Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld. “At the same time, he has an unparalleled appreciation for what it takes to live into that mission — through clear and consistent systems and structures, honest reflection and evaluation, and continual attention to the middot and values at the heart of our work.”

“I came to Hebrew College as a student in 2006 simply because I knew this school was where I belonged,” says Rabbi Klein. “I have remained because our program, community, and culture continues to be vibrant, special, and faithful in our pursuit and expression of our deepest values and commitments. It is an extraordinary privilege and honor, deeply humbling, now to serve as Dean of a school that has so profoundly shaped me.”

Rabbi Jane KanarekJane-Kanarek, PhD, will step into the newly created role of Dean of the Faculty. In this position, Rabbi Kanarek will be responsible for overseeing the vision for teaching and learning within the Rabbinical School, while continuing her own teaching, research, and writing.

Rabbi Kanarek was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary and earned her PhD from the University of Chicago, where she studied with Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies Professor Michael Fishbane, a self-described “Hebrew College old-timer” (Prozdor ’60 BJE, ’64). She is the author of Biblical Narrative and the Formation of Rabbinic Law and the co-editor of Learning to Read Talmud: What It Looks Like and How it Happens and Mothers in the Jewish Cultural Imagination, the latter two of which were finalists for the National Jewish Book Awards.

“Jane has been a treasured member of the Hebrew College faculty for the last 19 years, gaining the trust and respect of generations of Hebrew College cohorts, working effectively in the classroom with students from a wide cross-section of backgrounds and skills with her distinctive blend of rigor and compassion,” says President Anisfeld.

“I am excited to be stepping into the role of Dean of Faculty, where I will be responsible for teaching and learning in the rabbinical school as well as supporting faculty development and excellence in the classroom,” says Rabbi Kanarek. “I hope to deepen and extend the work we are already doing in rabbinic education, particularly in our classical text based curriculum. I hope that the work we do in the classroom with fostering dialogue across difference through studying sacred texts can be a model and lay the foundation for similar community-building work outside of Hebrew College.”

gita-karasovRabbi Gita Karasov `20 will step into an expanded role as Dean of Students and Admissions. Rabbi Karasov’s vision for the admissions and matriculation process is already bearing fruit with Hebrew College’s recently announced partnership with the Middlebury College School of Hebrew.

“My admissions work and my work with students complement and inform one another very nicely. Overseeing our admissions process means I accompany people on their journey into Rabbinical School, getting to know them as individuals throughout their discernment and ultimately through the application and interview process,” says Rabbi Karasov. “Once they matriculate and become students, I have the privilege of deepening those relationships as I accompany students through their rabbinic formation.”

“Our entire community is blessed by Gita’s dedicated, sensitive, and skillful leadership. Gita has been a gifted rabbinic mentor to both prospective and current students on their journeys to the rabbinate. She is a trusted and treasured colleague. Everything she does is infused with a sense of dignity, wisdom, and deeply relational Torah,” says President Anisfeld.

She adds: “Together, these three talented individuals — working collaboratively in a new leadership model — will allow for Hebrew College’s ordination programs to flourish while maintaining continuity with the school’s culture of belonging and creativity.”

Says Rabbi Klein: “From its inception in 2003, the Rabbinical School has been characterized by a sense of warmth and dynamic energy. We are a group of people, a team, who cares about each other, each of us well suited to our roles, dedicated to the whole, and supportive of each other, with a sense that we are a part of something special and important.”

Learn more about the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College and our pluralistic community, nurturing the mind, body, heart, and soul.

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