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A New Leader for the Wexner Heritage Program

Posted on Friday, February 08, 2019

It is with great excitement that we share the news that The Wexner Foundation has named Rabba Yaffa Epstein as the next Director of the Wexner Heritage Program. Yaffa will assume the position this summer.

Many in the Wexner network have had the privilege of knowing and learning from Rabba Yaffa given her prolific presence as a beloved teacher of Torah around the globe, especially in North America and in Israel. She is a master educator and visionary Jewish leader. Yaffa has taught in the Wexner Heritage Program for several years and has served as a curriculum advisor. She has long been associated with the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, first in Jerusalem and more recently as the Director of Education, North America. In this role, Yaffa has been instrumental in developing adult Jewish learning programs in communities across North America. 

“The Wexner Heritage Program is being placed in the hands of a master educator, a mensch and an extraordinarily wise Rabba,” said Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson, President of The Wexner Foundation. “We have been blessed by her counsel as a faculty member and are confident that the Foundation will grow in strength and vision with Rabba Yaffa as part of our team. She is a rare talent.”

Yaffa’s educational background includes studies at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. She has taught for the Drisha Institute, The Dorot Fellowship in Israel, The Nahum Goldmann Fellowship, Moishe House, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and at Limmud events around the world. Rabba Yaffa received Semicha from Yeshivat Maharat, where she also taught Talmud and Jewish law. She earned an additional private Semicha from Rabbi Daniel Landes and has a law degree from Bar Ilan University. 

“I am thrilled and honored to be joining the incredible team at The Wexner Foundation - an organization that is committed to creating Jewish leaders who ‘know their stuff,’ as our Chairman Les Wexner is fond of saying. A hallmark of Wexner participants is that they aspire to exercise leadership from a place of deep Jewish knowledge and are steadfast in their commitment to Jewish pluralism,” Yaffa said. “I am particularly excited to serve as the next Director of the Wexner Heritage Program - a leadership initiative that has transformed the Jewish community. Wexner Heritage members are dedicated to Jewish learning, to one another and to the Jewish people, and I am so looking forward to learning and growing together!”
 
We are confident that Yaffa is uniquely suited for this coveted role within our Foundation. The traditional Jewish wish to go “from strength to strength” perfectly describes our situation as the mantle of leadership for the Heritage Program is passed from Rabbi Ben Berger to Rabba Yaffa Epstein.