Faculty

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Adjunct Professor in Education

Miriam Feinberg has had a long career as a teacher trainer, curriculum writer and parent educator.  She served as director of the Early Childhood Department of the Board of Jewish Education of Greater Washington, instructor in Early Childhood Education in the Washington College of Jewish Studies, adjunct professor of education at the Baltimore Hebrew University School of Education and Gratz College and educational consultant to schools and educators in Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, under the auspices of Save the Children and UNICEF.  She has published curriculum books for teachers, storybooks for children and numerous articles on teacher and parent education. She received her B.A. in Early Childhood Education and English Literature from Hunter College, MA in Jewish Studies from the Baltimore Hebrew College and Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maryland.
In addition to serving currently as Adjunct Professor of Education at Gratz College she works as a School Accrediting Consultant for the Maryland State Department of Education. 

Adjunct Professor

Dr Mimi Ferraro is an alumna of the Gratz Hebrew High School and received her MA and EdD Jewish Education from Gratz College. Mimi's research was entitled The Development of Special Needs Programs in the Philadelphia Jewish Community 2006- 2011. Prior to coming to Gratz as a professional, Mimi served as Director of Education at Old York Road Temple Beth Am for twenty years. Mimi’s school was among the first cohort of the Nurturing Excellence in Synagogue Schools (NESS) initiative and continues to focus intensively on professional learning for its staff. Mimi is an active member of the education community in Philadelphia, leading workshops in a variety of settings and serving on the Special Needs Consortium of Jewish Learning Venture.

President of Gratz College

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 215-635-7300 x131

Paul Finkelman received his B.A. in American Studies from Syracuse University in 1971 and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago in 1976.  He was later a Fellow in Law and Humanities at Harvard Law School. He has held a number of endowed chairs as a tenured professor or as a visitor, including the Ariel F. Sallows Chair in Human Rights Law at the University of Saskatchewan, the John Hope Franklin Chair in American Legal History at Duke Law School, and the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor at Albany Law School.   In 2017 he held the Fulbright Chair in Human Rights and Social Justice at the University of Ottawa School of Law, in Ottawa, Canada and was also the John E. Murray Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  He is the author of more than 200 scholarly articles and the author or editor of more than fifty books.  His next book, Supreme Injustice:  Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court, will be published by Harvard University Press in 2018. 
 
He has published in a wide variety of areas including American Jewish history, American legal history, constitutional law, and legal issues surrounding baseball.  His work has been cited in four decisions by the United States Supreme Court, numerous other courts, and in many appellate briefs.  He has lectured on slavery, human trafficking, and human rights issue at the United Nations, throughout the United States, and in more than a dozen other countries, including China, Germany, Israel, and Japan.  In 2014, he was ranked as the fifth most cited legal historian in American legal scholarship in Brian Leiter’s “Top Ten Law Faculty Scholarly Impact, 2009-2013.”  He was an expert witness in the famous Alabama Ten Commandments Monument Case (Glassroth v. Moore) and in the law suit over the ownership of Barry Bonds’ 73rd home run ball (Popov v. Hayashi). 

Laurie Fisher is currently a doctoral student in Jewish education at Gratz where she received her MAJS and MAJEd.  She also earned a B.A. in English and Art History from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Her academic interests include the Philosophy of Education, Reflective Practice, and Teacher Education.  From designing and leading Tot Shabbat to studying Jewish philosophy with adults, Laurie loves educating across the spectrum of Jewish experience.  As a teacher educator, Laurie’s goal is to facilitate adult learning which helps to prepare Jewish educators for the evolving environment of synagogue life and beyond.  In addition to being a professional Jewish educator, in the past Laurie has fulfilled many of the lay roles of synagogue life including Sisterhood President, B’nei mitzvah tutor, committee chair, and board member.  She has worked with the Knoxville Jewish Alliance as a coordinator with the University of Tennessee Hillel.  Her happiest times in life are when she is learning with and from her students or when she has her nose in a book, preferably while dogs and cats are snuggled in with her.

Director of the Holocaust Oral History Archive

Phone: 215-635-7300 x130

Email: [email protected]

Josey G. Fisher, Director of the Holocaust Oral History Archive and Instructor in Holocaust & Genocide Studies at Gratz College, has graduate degrees in both clinical social work and Jewish studies and has focused her interdisciplinary background on Holocaust research and education for over 30 years. She received her BA and MSW from the University of Pittsburgh and her Masters in Jewish Studies with a major in Modern European Jewish History from Gratz College.
 Her course offerings include “Teaching the Holocaust” and “Children of the Nazi Era”. In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member in the history department of Moore College of Art and Design.

She serves as an independent Holocaust education consultant to multiple local, national and international programs. Through the Jewish Community Relations Council, she edits a bi-annual newsletter for Holocaust educators. She serves as Holocaust education consultant to the Bearing Witness Program for Catholic educators, co-sponsored by ADL, the Archdiocese and the USHMM. On three occasions, she coordinated and accompanied three groups of Philadelphia teens to Poland and Israel through the International March of the Living. She has also served as a consultant for Holocaust documentaries and educational films, curricula, and pedagogical guidelines.  

She has received the Korczak Teaching Award from the American Friends of the Ghetto Fighters’ Museum for her work on the International Book-Sharing Project of Ghetto Fighters’ Museum and Yad LaYeled Children’s Museum and Memorial in Israel.

She is a founding convener of the Consortium of Holocaust Educators of Greater Philadelphia; member of the Advisory Committee to the PA Department of Education regarding Act 70 legislation (“strongly encourag(ing) instruction in Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Violations”); and serves as Board Member of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph’s University.

Her publications include The Persistence of Youth: Oral Testimonies of the Holocaust, containing fifteen accounts of young people, drawn from the Gratz College Archive; contributions to the four-volume encyclopedia The Holocaust: A Grolier Student Library; and the Foreward to The Call of Memory: Learning About the Holocaust through Narrative – A Teacher’s Guide.

Adjunct Instructor in Jewish Studies

Rabbi Friedman received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982. She received her MA in 1984 and her PhD in 1987 from Washington University in clinical psychology, and has held various positions as a psychologist, including as the Director of the Student Counseling Center at Widener University. Rabbi Friedman was ordained from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1987. She has worked in a variety of capacities in the Jewish community, including work in the congregational rabbinate, as a Jewish educator, and in Hillel. She has taught in the Melton Adult Mini-School since 2000, and has taught both online and on-campus courses for Gratz College. Rabbi Friedman currently works as a psychologist at the Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment, and in private practice, and is the mother of three children.

Adjunct Associate Professor of History

Dr. Reena Sigman Friedman is Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She is also Adjunct Associate Professor of Jewish History at Gratz College.

Dr. Friedman received her PhD in Jewish History from Columbia University. She is the author of These Are Our Children: Jewish Orphanages in the United States, 1880-1925 (Brandeis University Press, 1994), several encyclopedia entries and book chapters, and numerous scholarly articles. Her articles have appeared in American Jewish Archives, Jewish Social Studies, The Reconstructionist, and other academic journals. She served as a Consultant to the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple University for a textbook series on American Jewish History for middle and high school students and an oral history project dealing with the Soviet Jewry movement in Philadelphia. 

Dr. Friedman lectures widely to synagogue and  organizational groups on topics related to Jewish history, Jewish women and the contemporary Jewish community, and has taught in many adult education programs (including the Scholars’ Program at Gratz). Recently, she taught a course on “American Jews and Social Justice” at the National Museum of American Jewish History, and is a member of the Museum’s Education Committee.

Rabbi Robyn Frisch has been the Director of InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia since June 2013.  She is also the spiritual leader of Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai, the oldest synagogue in Northeast Philadelphia.  Robyn is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and The New York University School of Law. After practicing as a corporate lawyer in a large Philadelphia law firm for several years, Robyn decided to follow her passion and become a rabbi. She was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2000. Robyn loves teaching and helping to make Judaism come alive for individuals, couples and families and empowering them to make Jewish rituals, practices and teachings a valuable and meaningful part of their lives. She especially enjoys working with interfaith couples and families and helping them to navigate both the challenges and joys that they encounter. Robyn is the wife of Rabbi Seth Frisch, who serves as the rabbi of Historic Congregation Kesher Israel in Philadelphia, and the proud mother of Benji, Noah and Tali.

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