College Faculty



Adjunct Professor of Hebrew Literature and Education

Dr. Uzi Adini was born and educated in Israel. He earned a Teacher’s Diploma at Lifschitz Teacher’s College, and a B.A, Secondary Teachers’ Certificate and M.A. degrees at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, majoring in Bible, Hebrew Literature, and Education. He earned an Ed.D. degree at Dropsie College in Philadelphia, PA, where his doctoral dissertation dealt with transmitting Jewish values through the study of Hebrew Literature to high school students.

Following a long career in educational administration, occasionally combined with college teaching, Dr. Adini returned in 2004 to a full-time position as Professor of Education and Literature at Gratz College. He retired in August 2007 but continues to teach as an Adjunct Professor of Hebrew Literature and Education.
Dr. Adini’s latest administrative and supervision position has been in the role of Vice President of Gratz College. As the chief administrative officer, he was responsible for all administrative duties related to efficient and effective institutional operation. He also consulted to remote Jewish communities on educational administration.

Prior to that role, he served as the Director of the Jewish Community High School of Gratz College for 23 years. During this tenure, theenrollment in the school increased from initially 350 students in two locations in one state, to over 1,000 students in 15 locations in four states, constituting the largest supplementary Jewish high school in North America. To respond to the unique administrative needs of a school of this kind, he also created two software applications – "School Aide", and a FileMaker Pro application -- fully integrated and most sophisticated school management software, really fulfilling all administrative wishes of an academic institution.

Prior to his JCHS directorship, Dr. Adini served as the Head Consultant for Secondary Jewish Education in the Division of Community Services of Gratz College. His responsibilities included instructional supervision of secondary schools in the Greater Philadelphia area, writing curriculum, leading faculty workshops and staff development programs, and organizing conferences.He also had a stint as the Educational Directorof Camp Ramah in the Poconos for one year. While he lived in Israel, while on the staff of Lifschitz State College, Dr. Adini supervised several statewide Student-Teaching programs.

Dr. Adini’s academic experience at Gratz College, Philadelphia, PA, stretches almost over four decades, starting as a part-time Instructor in the College and being promoted from rank to rank up to tenured Professor of Education and Literature. Following his appointment to the full-time position of Director of Secondary Education, he continued his teaching in the College, on part-time basis all throughout his tenure as an administrator, his subjects being Educational Administration and Evaluation, as well as Methods of Teaching of Literature, and Methods of Teaching Bible. Following his promotion to Vice President and Chief of Operation, he continued to periodically offer graduate courses in Literature and in Educational Management. He chaired academic committees such as the Education Dept, Equivalence, and the Senate (wrote the institution's "Code of Practice"). In 2004 he returned to full-time teaching as Professor of Education and Literature.
Dr. Adini also had taught Hebrew Language and Literature at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College as well as at Temple University, Philadelphia. PA. While in Israel, he taught at both Lifschitz and Talpiot State Teachers' Colleges inIsrael, also supervising statewide Student-Teaching programs.

Dr. Adini’s community and professional involvement include membership in Philadelphia Jewish Federation’s Committees on teens, family education, and Israel. Also on the Editorial Board of "Sheviley HaHinuch"; a keynote speaker in teachers' conferences in Philadelphia PA, Bucks County PA, Atlantic city NJ, Union NJ, Cherry hill NJ, Atlanta GA, New York NY, Binghamton NY, Syracuse NY, Wilmington DE, Louisville KY; He served as the Chairman of Education Committee of Solomon Schechter Day School.; he evaluated Jewish educational institutions in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida; Also on the Executive Committee of American association of Professors of Hebrew; and on the National committee for the Teaching of Israel – Dept of Education and Culture, the Jewish Agency.

Adjunct Professor

Dr. Mehnaz Afridi is an Adjunct Professor at Gratz College and Associate Professor of Religious studies and Director of Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College. She teaches Islam, Holocaust, Genocide and issues of gender within Islam. Her articles have appeared in books such as; Sacred Tropes: Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur'an as Literature and Culture, (Brill, 2006). Not Your Father’s Anti-Semitism: Hatred of the Jews in the 21st Century (Paragon House, 2008). 2018. “A Muslim’s Response to Frank H. Littel” in Legacy of an Impassioned Plea Franklin H. Littel’s Crucifixion of the Jews, Ed. David Patterson, (New York: Paragon Press), 2018. “Muslim Memory and Righting Relations with the Other” in Righting Relations After the Holocaust, Eds. Elena G. Procario-Foley and Robert A. Cathey, (New Jersey: Paulist Press). “The Role of Muslims and the Holocaust” in Oxford Handbooks Online, (Oxford University Press, 2015). She is the co-editor of a book entitled: “Orhan Pamuk and Global Literature: Existentialism and Politics” (May 2012, Palgrave Macmillan), and her recent book Shoah through Muslim Eyes (Academic Studies Press, 2017) has been nominated for the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research and the Jacob Schnitzer Book Award. Dr. Afridi obtained her PhD from University of South Africa, her MA and BA from Syracuse University.

Adjunct Instructor

Julia Steinberg Agnew is an adjunct instructor and teaches Issues in the Contemporary Classroom. She received her B.A. from Bowdoin College and an M.S.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania. She taught for ten years in the School District of Philadelphia and is certified in Pennsylvania with an ESL specialist certificate.

Most recently, she has been mentoring and supervising undergraduate and graduate student teachers for Arcadia University and the University of Pennsylvania. She enjoys the challenge of collaborating with urban and suburban educators to create positive, authentic learning environments for diverse learners.

She has additional experience leading professional development sessions for teachers, serving on curriculum writing teams, and creating and implementing literacy intervention programs and arts initiatives for children and their families.

Julia lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and children.

Hana Alter was born and raised in Israel where she graduated from the Acvha teacher training seminars. Hana has been living in the United States for the past 25 years. She has been working in various Hebrew schools as a Hebrew teacher for the past 23 years. Hana enjoys teaching her students how to read and speak Hebrew with fluency, accuracy, and confidence. Hana has had experience with students of all ages as well as all levels of Jewish and Hebrew education. 

Adjunct Instructor

Katherine Aron-Beller was born in the United Kingdom, and has lived in Israel for more than twenty years. She has worked at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and taught at George Washington University, Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Gratz College. She is the author of Jews on Trial: The Papal Inquisition in Modena 1598-1638 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), the co-editor of The Roman Inquisition: Centre versus Peripheries (Leiden: Brill, 2018) and many other articles on the Catholic Inquisition, anti-semitism and the Jews of Modena. She is now finishing a book called Jews as Image Desecrators: Tracing an Allegation.