Kaplan and Hebrew

with Rabbis Daria Jacobs-Velde, Helen Plotkin, Professor Vardit Ringvalt, and Earl Schwartz
Sunday, February 26, 2023

Webinar Panelists

Rabbi Daria serves as the co-Rabbi at Oseh Shalom, located between Baltimore and Washington DC. She strives to live life with intentionality, and finds particular meaning in partnering with the Divine for the unfolding of transformational potential. This finds particular expression through her passion for creating pathways of connection and joy with the Hebrew language, Judaism and the natural world, the voice and body, the prayers and practices that once were so alienating, and creating meaningful intergenerational gatherings rooted in ancient sacred teachings that are relevant for our lives today. Her own meandering journey as a Hebrew school drop out to a rabbi who lived abroad for a total of six years (3 years in Japan, and 3 years Israel), as well as in various parts of the United States (the East Coast, the Midwest, and the West Coast), serves as the inspiration for her own deep knowing of “you just never know how things can unfold with such grace and possibility!”

Rabbi Helen Plotkin is founder and director of Mekom Torah (pronounced McComb Toe-Rah), offering Jewish study opportunities for adults and teens that transcend the boundaries of the various Jewish movements. She is co-founder of the Beit Midrash at Swarthmore College, where she taught courses in Biblical Hebrew and classical Hebrew texts for 20 years. Rabbi Plotkin also teaches at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She holds a BA from Swarthmore College in Philosophy and Linguistics, an MA from the University of Michigan in Ancient Chinese Language and Thought, and a rabbinical degree from Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

Professor Vardit Ringvald is currently the Director of the Consortium for the Teaching of Hebrew Language and Culture hosted by Brandeis University. She also serves as a research professor at the Mandel Center for Jewish Education at Brandeis. She is the founding director of the School of Hebrew at Middlebury College where she developed a variety of language programs for modern and classical Hebrew as well as Master and Doctorate degrees in Hebrew language pedagogy. Prof Ringvald is the main author of the Modern Hebrew Textbook and she is an expert in curriculum development and assessment of Hebrew language learning using the proficiency approach which she participated in its adaptation for Hebrew.

Earl Schwartz has served on the faculty of the Talmud Torah of St. Paul since 1976, is recently retired from Hamline University’s department of religion, and has published widely on Jewish educational topics. He is the author of Moral Development: A Practical Guide for Jewish Teachers and Arc of the Covenant: Jewish Educational Success on the Upper Mississippi. He is also the co-author, with Rabbi Barry Cytron, of When Life Is in the Balance and Who Renews Creation.

Many thanks to Sherwood and Barbara Malamud, and Carol and Harold Rolfe for sponsoring this webinar!