Hebrew College will be closed on Friday, April 19 for Passover. Chag Pesach Sameach!

Commencement & Ordination 5779/2019

Please join us for Hebrew College’s 94th Commencement and Ordination Ceremonies on Sunday, June 2, 2019.

Hebrew College’s motto — “Jewish learning and leadership for a pluralistic world” — aptly captures our dual purpose: to educate youth, adults and aspiring professionals for a life of both deep Jewish intellectual engagement and 
communal responsibility. We prepare our students to apply Jewish 
knowledge and wisdom to the challenges of living in a complex and diverse society that abounds with freedom of choice.

The individuals graduating from Hebrew College’s various schools and programs have been nourished in an environment that recognizes the need for Jewish learning to draw upon the rich resources of our distinctive culture and traditions. Nurturing leaders who will bring compelling Jewish content into the center of communal life is a 
critical component of our institutional vision.


10 am-Noon

Commencement ExercisesBerenson Hall at Hebrew College
12:15-1:15 pmBuffet LunchAlumni Dining Hall, Hebrew College
1:30-2:30 pmCantorial Ordination Temple Reyim, Newton, MA
3-4:30 pmRabbinical OrdinationTemple Reyim, Newton, MA
4:30-5:30 pmOrdination Reception Temple Reyim, Newton MA

Rabbinic Ordination

Mikhail Misha Clebaner
Jevin Seth Eagle
Hayley Mara Goldstein
Joel Avi Goldstein
Jessica Lowenthal Weber
Allison Lee Poirier
Stephanie Katharine Sanger-Miller
Mona Aviva Strick
Dena Meredith Trugman
Yehoshua Eitan Zehavi
Ilana Fiona Zietman

Cantorial Ordination

Maayan Harel

Master of Jewish Arts in Jewish Studies

Joshua Wm. Berkowitz
Jevin Seth Eagle
Hayley Mara Goldstein
Joel Avi Goldstein
Jessica Lowenthal Weber
Stephanie Katharine Sanger-Miller
Mona Aviva Strick
Dena Meredith Trugman
Yehoshua Eitan Zehavi

Master of Jewish Education

Roberta Bergstein
Jennifer Nicole Boyle
Mikhail Misha Clebaner
Jessica Sarah Goldberg
Maayan Harel
Arielle Nicole Hersh Levy
Allison Lee Poirier
Rebecca Naomi Redner
Wilma Sack-Poyser
Andrea Shapiro
Pamela Shapiro
Ilana Fiona Zietman

Master of Jewish Education/ Master of Artis in Jewish Studies (Dual Degree)

Sarah Elizabeth Hartman
Dale Rosenberg
Stephanie Robin Wolfe

Master of Jewish Education/Certificate in Jewish Day School Education

Netanel Kanovsky
Jonah Zev Potasznik
Barry David Rosekind
Ari Yitzhak Weber

Master of Jewish Liberal Studies

Mouhammed Awadallah
Melissa Lea Davis
Sandra  Leah Skoro-Naffah
Jacqueline Gail Tepper

Certificate in Jewish Educational Leadership

Michal Setti-Parnes
Seth Jason Goldsweig

Mark Atkins

Mark Atkins is a committed Hebrew College volunteer and leader. He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer and financial industries, where he built and managed entrepreneurial and Fortune 1000 firms, and is currently a professor at The University of Massachusetts-Boston College of Management, where he teaches Entrepreneurial and Global Strategic Marketing courses to MBA and undergraduate students. Before becoming a professor, Atkins, served as chairman, CEO, and president of two private global technology companies, Vality Technology and Invention Machine.

A graduate of Hebrew College Prozdor, Atkins is chair of the Hebrew College Real Estate Committee and a former chair of the Hebrew College Board of Trustees. He is also a member of The Board of Overseers of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a former trustee of the University of Massachusetts Foundation. He served as a member of the boards of the JCCGB, The Vilna Shul, and AJC New England, as a well as a member of the AJC National Board of Governors. In addition, Atkins mentors and advises early stage entrepreneurs and non-profit organization executives.

Atkins received an MBA from Babson College and a BA from The University of Massachusetts-Boston, where he has established The Mark E. Atkins Scholarship Endowment. He received “The Vilna Visionary Leadership Award” from the Vilna Shul and “The Distinguished Business Leader Award” from the University of Massachusetts College of Management.

Dr. Alice Shalvi

Dr. Alice Shalvi is an Israeli educator, activist, and professor emerita. From 1997 to 2001, she served as rector of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, a graduate school initially affiliated with the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. From 1950 to 1990, she taught in the Department of English at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she also held administrative roles. From 1975 to 1990, she also served as principal of Pelech, a unique progressive high school for religious girls.

Dr. Shalvi was born in 1926 in Essen, Germany. In 1934, at the age of seven, she escaped with her family and emigrated to England. In 1946, she was sent to the Zionist Congress in Basel as a representative of British Jewish students. She graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1947 and a social work degree from the London School of Economics in 1949, before immigrating to Israel, where she received a Ph.D from Hebrew University in 1962.

Dr. Shalvi has played a leading role in progressive Jewish education for girls and advancing the status of women and is often referred to as “the matriarch of Israeli feminism.” From 1984 to 2000, she served as founding chairwoman of the Israel Women’s Network, an organization dedicated to advancing the status of women in Israel, which became Israel’s major advocacy group on women’s issues. She has been an active and leading figure in a variety of social movements, including peace and inter-religious dialogues and feminist activities, in both establishment and non-governmental frameworks.

Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker

Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker is a pioneer in the field of religion and ecology. She is a senior lecturer and research scholar at Yale University, where she teaches religion and ecology in the joint master’s program between the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Divinity School. Along with her husband, John Grim, she is a co-founder and co-director of Yale’s Forum on Religion and Ecology, as well as the author and editor of numerous articles and books.

Dr. Tucker and her husband founded the Forum on Religion and Ecology, now based at Yale, after organizing a series of conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions. She and Grim subsequently published Ecology and Religion, and with Willis Jenkins, co-edited the Routledge Handbook on Religion and Ecology. Dr. Tucker also co-edited Buddhism and Ecology, Confucianism and Ecology, Hinduism and Ecology, The Great Work, Evening Thoughts, The Sacred Universe, The Christian Future, and The Fate of Earth and Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community. With Grim, she wrote Thomas Berry: A Biography with Andrew Angyal. With Brian Thomas Swimme, she created a multimedia project called Journey of the Universe, which included an Emmy Award-winning film, a book, and online courses.

Dr. Tucker received her Ph.D.in Asian Religions from Columbia University, where she focused on Japanese Confucianism. Since 1997, she has been a Research Associate at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard. Tucker served on the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee and was a member of the Earth Charter International Council. She received an Inspiring Yale Teaching Award in April 2015.


She is the recipient of numerous awards, including honorary degrees from a number of institutions of higher education such as Brown University, the Weizmann Institute of Science, Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev. She is a winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award. In 2007, she received the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

Dr. Avivah Zornberg

Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg is a Scottish Torah scholar, teacher, and author. She was born in London, England, where her parents found refuge after the 1938 Nazi takeover of Austria, and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where her father, an eminent rabbi, was appointed head of the Rabbinical Court of Scotland. She moved to Israel in 1969, where she has been lecturing on Torah since 1980. She currently resides in Jerusalem and focuses on reading biblical narratives through the prism of midrash, literature, philosophy and particularly psychoanalysis.

Growing up, Dr. Zornberg studied the Bible with her father every day. She continued her Jewish education as a resident of Gateshead Seminary near Newcastle, and, while in her teens, co-authored a book of Bible studies, Sabbath Shiurim. The book won such wide acclaim in Orthodox Jewish circles that Feldheim Publishers commissioned her to translate a work about the Book of Proverbs by the great 19th century biblical commentator known as the Malbim.  

Dr. Zornberg received both her BA and PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University and taught English literature at the Hebrew University before turning to teaching Torah. She now teaches throughout the Jewish world, including in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, where she holds a Visiting Lectureship at the London School of Jewish Studies. She has lectured at synagogues, universities, and psychoanalytic institutes – and one pub – in Scandinavia, South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, Russia and Poland. She is the author of five critically acclaimed books, including Moses: A Human Life; Bewilderments: Reflections on the Book of Numbers; The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious; and The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus; and The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis, for which she won the National Jewish Book Award.

In 1996, Dr. Zornberg appeared on the PBS TV series “Bill Moyers: Genesis – A Living Conversation.” In 2009, she was interviewed about the Exodus story by Krista Tippett in On Being. The podcast has been rebroadcast around Passover time in the years since then. In 2005, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary and delivered the Haskell Lectures at Oberlin College. In 2009, she received The Maurice N. Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award from the Union for Reform Judaism. She is married to Eric Zornberg, a physicist, and has three children and 10 grandchildren. She loves classical music and plays the piano.

Sefaria – Shevach Award

Joshua Foer  

Joshua Foer is the co-founder and chairman of Sefaria, a non-profit whose mission is to build the future of Torah in the digital era. He is also the co-creator of Sukkah City, the 2010 design competition and exhibition held in Union Square Park in New York City that invited the world’s leading architects to reimagine what a traditional sukkah could look like.

Foer is also the co-founder and executive chairman of Atlas Obscura, a media and experiences company whose mission is to help people experience a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world. Their website, atlasobscura.com, has more than 5.7 million monthly users. The book he edited based on the website, Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders, was a #1 New York Times best-seller.

As a science journalist, Foer’s work has been published in The New Yorker, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and many other publications. His first book, Moonwalking with Einstein, about how he became the United States Memory Champion, was a #1 bestseller and was published in 35 languages. His forthcoming book, Other Ways of Being, tells the story of his travels with some of the world’s last hunter-gatherers.

Foer was a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow, and was named “one of ten people who could change the world” by the New Statesman. He is a member of the Jim Joseph Foundation’s board of directors. He grew up in Washington, D.C., and lives in Brookline, with his wife and two children.


Hebrew College
160 Herrick Road
Newton Centre, MA 02459
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Temple Reyim
1860 Washington Street
Newton, MA
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In addition to Commencement and Ordination, Hebrew College’s Kehillah Week includes a week of community events including:

  • Wednesday May 29  JTFGB Grant Presentations
  • Thursday, May 30Hebrew College Live! Stories in Honor of Our Teachers
  • Shabbat, May 31 – June 1: Spend shabbat at a a neighborhood shul led by Hebrew College alumni
  • Sunday, June 2 –  Commencement & Ordination
  • Monday, June 3 – “Ani Kinnor  – אני כינור: Prayer Leader Summer Institute” begins
  • Wednesday, June 5 – Me’ah Graduation

We are proud of our graduates as they take their places as advanced learners, 
innovative teachers, and dedicated leaders. The multiple voices they have 
encountered in texts, in teachers, and in dialogue with each other will enable them to contribute to the enhancement of Jewish life, here in North America, in Israel, and throughout the world.