Faculty

Skirball Academy – Faculty

Rabbi Esther Azar

Rabbi Esther Azar

Rabbi Azar is a visual artist and writer who has long been active in Jewish education. Trained in social work and psychotherapy, and recently ordained as a rabbi, she is the former Director of Family Engagement at Shaare Zedek and a founding collaborator of Rei Emet: Mirror Truth.

Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses

Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses

Rabbi Cohler-Esses was the first woman from the Syrian Jewish community to be ordained as a rabbi and was named one of the 50 top rabbis in the US by the Washington Post online. She currently serves as Director of Lifelong Learning at Romemu and writes, lectures and teaches widely.

Dr. Eric Goldman

Dr. Eric Goldman

Dr. Goldman authored The American Jewish Story through Cinema and cohosted the Turner Classic Movies series The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film. He is an adjunct professor of cinema at Yeshiva University.

Tobi Kahn

Tobi Kahn

Tobi Kahn is an internationally acclaimed
painter and sculptor whose work
has been shown in over 50 solo
exhibitions and more than 80
museum and group shows. He is
cofounder of Avoda Arts and has
taught at the School of Visual Arts
in New York since 1985.

Martin Kaufman

Martin Kaufman

Martin Kaufman is a Yeshiva University–educated
global consultant within the
financial and natural resource
sectors. He has lectured
extensively in adult education
programs in the New York area
and has taught at the Skirball
Academy for many years.

Yaffa Kaye

Yaffa Kaye

has taught Hebrew at the Temple
Emanu-El Religious School for
more than 25 years. Her passion
for Jewish and Israeli cultures
makes her a driving force in the
field of Jewish education.

Dr. David Kraemer

Dr. David Kraemer

Dr. David Kraemer is the Director of the Library
and Professor of Talmud
and Rabbinics at the Jewish
Theological Seminary of America,
where he oversees the most
extensive collection of Judaica in
the Western hemisphere. He has
played a crucial role in expanding
the impact of the library’s
world-renowned collections and
programs.

Dr. Stephen A. Marino

Dr. Stephen A. Marino

Dr. Stephen A. Marino is the founding editor of The Arthur Miller Journal and has written widely in journals and books about Miller’s plays. He is currently co-editing a new
collection of essays, Arthur Miller for the Twenty-First Century. He teaches at St. Francis College in Brooklyn.

Dr. Hussein Rashid

Dr. Hussein Rashid

Dr. Hussein Rashid teaches at Barnard College
and is a specialist in Muslims
in American popular culture. A
frequent commentator on current
affairs, he consults with nonprofit
organizations and governmental
agencies about the interaction
between culture and religion,
as well as the role of the arts in
conflict mediation.

Dr. Lee Robbins

Dr. Lee Robbins

Dr. Lee Robbins is a Jungian analyst on the faculty
of the Jungian Psychoanalytic
Association and an adjunct
professor of psychology and
religion at NYU. She holds a
doctorate in psychology, is a
student and teacher of Theravada
Buddhism and is currently a
candidate in spiritual direction
at Hebrew Union College-Jewish
Institute of Religion.

Rabbi Janet Roberts

Rabbi Janet Roberts

Rabbi Janet Roberts was trained as a lawyer and
ordained at Hebrew Union
College-Jewish Institute of
Religion. She has served
congregations in New York
and Ohio, was director of
congregational relations at Central
Synagogue and is experienced in
welcoming students with diverse
backgrounds, including those
new to Jewish studies, individuals
considering conversion and
interfaith couples.

Dr. Daniel Rynhold

Dr. Daniel Rynhold

Dr. Daniel Rynhold teaches Jewish Philosophy at
Yeshiva University. A specialist in
the work of Moses Maimonides
and Joseph Soloveitchik, he is
author of Two Models of Jewish
Philosophy: Justifying One’s
Practices and An Introduction to
Medieval Jewish Philosophy.

Rabbi Leonard Schoolman

Rabbi Leonard Schoolman

Rabbi Leonard Schoolman was the founding director of
the Center for Religious Inquiry
at St. Bartholomew’s Church,
a national staff member at the
Union for Reform Judaism and
has been a pioneer in engaging
Jews, Christians and Muslims in
study and dialogue about one
another. He is the author of The
Changing Christian World: A Brief
Introduction for Jews.

Dr. Diane M. Sharon

Dr. Diane M. Sharon

Dr. Diane M. Sharon is a scholar and teacher of the
Hebrew Bible, Comparative
Religion and Ancient Near Eastern
Literature who has taught at the
Academy for Jewish Religion, the
General Theological Seminary of
the Episcopal Church, Fordham
University and the Jewish
Theological Seminary. She writes
about the Hebrew Bible in its
ancient Near Eastern context,
comparative religion, literary
analysis and women’s studies.

Rabbi Joseph A. Skloot

Rabbi Joseph A. Skloot

Rabbi Joseph A. Skloot teaches at the Hebrew Union
College. Formerly Associate
Rabbi at Washington Hebrew
Congregation, he conducts
research on Jewish cultural and
intellectual history in the early
modern and modern periods,
Jewish religious thought and the
history of the book.

Dr. Mark W. Weisstuch

Dr. Mark W. Weisstuch

Dr. Mark W. Weisstuch has been on the faculty of the
Skirball Academy since its
inception. Over the last several
years, he has focused on the
Second Temple period, teaching
classes on the Dead Sea Scrolls,
the Jewish origins of Christianity,
the early roots of Jewish mysticism
and the composition of the Bible.