At the beginning of the academic year, the Orthodox Union’s Heshe and Harriet Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) welcomed several new educators and two new campuses: Boston University and Santa Monica College. Currently, OU-JLIC is found on twenty-three campuses throughout North America.
Rabbi Joe Wolfson, from England, studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel, received semichah from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and has degrees from Cambridge. He has taught Torah on four continents, primarily as a faculty member of London School of Jewish Studies.
Corinne Shmuel, from Leicester, England, studied the history of art at the University of Leeds and the Courtauld Institute of Art. Additionally, she studied Talmud and Tanach at Matan Women’s Institute for Torah Studies. She is also a professional chef. After living in Israel for the past few years, the couple is excited about relocating to New York to be at the heart of Jewish life and learning at NYU.
Rabbi David Eckstein received semichah from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and an MPA from Baruch College. He is the former director of community engagement at the Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE) in New York City.
Jenny Eckstein was born and raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and attended Midreshet Moriah seminary in Israel and Stern College for Women. She has a master’s degree in speech language pathology and is an active volunteer with many Jewish organizations, including Camp HASC, Keren Or, MJE and the Gift of Life. The couple is thrilled to be joining the Johns Hopkins community.
Rabbi Ariel Fisher is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he majored in urban studies. After graduating, he moved to Israel and received semichah from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat and Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg of Jerusalem.
Bina Brody spent two years as a basic training commander in the Israel Defense Forces and many years studying at various institutions for higher learning for women in Israel including Midreshet Lindenbaum and Matan Women’s Institute for Torah Studies. Currently, she is completing her second year in Matan’s Advanced Talmud Program as well as her master’s degree from Hebrew University in linguistic anthropology. The couple is excited about moving to the States and making Princeton their new home.
Rabbi Nick and Orit Faguet will be the first OU-JLIC couple at Santa Monica College. Rabbi Nick Faguet was born in Los Angeles to a traditional family with roots in Livorno, Italy, the French region of Provence, and Lebanon. He speaks English, Hebrew and Spanish fluently and is proficient in Farsi, Syriac and Italian. Rabbi Faguet graduated from UCLA with a degree in Near Eastern archeology and completed a law degree from UCLA’s law school.
Orit Cohen Faguet was born to a Persian family and is a niece of Chacham Yosef Hamadani Cohen, z”tl, the chief rabbi of Iran until 2014. Orit spent two years in Israel studying at Baer Miriam
seminary. Subsequently, she attended UCLA and obtained a degree in English literature. Since graduating, she has worked in the special education field. She has taught at Maimonides Academy and Ohr Eliyahu Academy, both in Los Angeles, and has worked for Yachad/NJCD.
The two met at UCLA and their relationship grew out of their involvement with OU-JLIC. The couple is especially suited to work with the large population of Sephardic Jews at SMC whose families emigrated from Iran.
Rabbi Yehoshua Dovid Schwartz studied English, psychology and astrophysics at UCLA and received semichah from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg of Jerusalem. A trained chef, he also ran a successful catering business while in Israel.
Chava Schwartz spent significant time in Israel studying at Bnot Torah Institute (Sharfman’s) and Touro College and completing a fellowship with the Ner LeElef Kiruv Training Program. Additionally, she served as a teacher and program director at Tomer Devorah Seminary in Jerusalem.
Three years ago, the Schwartzes moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where they worked to engage Jewish students on campus. Rabbi Schwartz delivered shiurim to the men while Chava found her niche giving dynamic Torah classes to the women and organizing campus events and programs. The couple is looking forward to bringing new energy to the BU campus.