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Darkhei Noam hosts three scholar-in-residence weekends each year. During a Scholar-in-Residence Shabbat, our scholar will typically speak three times: on Friday night following Kabbalat Shabbat, on Shabbat morning before Mussaf, and at our community lunch. 
In addition, Darkhei Noam also hosts "mini" Scholar-in-Residence weekends. During these Shabbatot, our scholars will speak one to two times over the course of Shabbat.
We strive to ensure that our Scholars in Residence present our community with a wide range of topics.

5778 Scholars-in-Residence


Feb 10, 2018: Shulem Deen
March 24, 2018: Ilana Ruskay-Kidd
June 2, 2018: Rabba Anat Sharbat
Full SIRs:

Dec.1-2, 2017: Dr. Steven Cohen

Jan. 26-27, 2018: Rabbi Herzl Hefter

April 20-21, 2018: Dr. Yael Zerubavel

Mini Scholar-in-Residence

Shulem Deen is the author of the  award-winning memoir ALL WHO GO DO NOT RETURN, an account of growing up in and then leaving the Skverers, one of the most insular Hasidic sects in the U.S. He is a regular contributor to Forward, and in 2015 was listed in the Forward 50, an annual list of American Jews with outsized roles on political and social issues. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the New Republic, Salon, Tablet Magazine, and elsewhere. He serves as a board member at Footsteps, a New York City-based organization that offers assistance and support to those who have left the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. He lives in Brooklyn. 

Please join us for a talk by author Shulem Deen following Ma’ariv on Friday evening, February 9. The topic is: The Fundamentalists Among Us: What the explosive growth of ultra-Orthodoxy means for liberal American Judaism

In a talk drawn from personal experience, Shulem Deen will discuss why we need more engagement with the ultra-Orthodox on core values--something that's largely been missing from the American Jewish discourse.

Shulem invites questions and discussion following his talk. We hope you can make it!

This event is sponsored by Hannah Rothstein and Michael Tzvi Borenstein in celebration of the 30th anniversary of their first date.


Ilana Ruskay-Kidd, founder and head of the Shefa School, March 24, 2018. 

Ilana was trained at Harvard and the Bank Street School of Education. After serving for many years as the director of the JCC nursery program and in other leadership positions,  Ilana founded the Shefa School, the first Jewish day school that serves children who need a specialized educational environment in order to develop their strengths while addressing their learning challenges. She is currently the head of Shefa. Ilana’s work and vision was honored with a Covenant Award in 2016.

Ilana will speak in shul before musaf.

This event is sponsored by Ariela Dubler and Jesse Furman in honor of Ilana and the Shefa School.

Rabba Anat Sharbat, June 2, 2018

Rabba Dr. Anat Sharbat is a graduate of Yeshivat Maharat, and has a Ph.D. in Talmud from Bar-Ilan University. Anat and her family came from Israel 7 years ago, and are active members of the Bayit in Riverdale.

Sponsorships available

Rabba Anat will deliver a text study before musaf in shul and will speak shortly after services.


Rabbi Herzl Hefter is a graduate of Yeshiva University where he learned under the tutelage of Rav Yerucham Gorelik, z”l, and Rav Yosef Dov Soloveichik, z”l. For the next ten years, Rav Hefter continued his Torah studies at Yeshivat Har Etzion under Rav Aharon Lichtenstein. Most recently, Rav Hefter taught advanced Talmud to the Kollel fellows at Yeshivat Hamivtar in Efrat. Prior to that Rav Hefter taught Yoreh De’ah to smicha students at the Gruss Kollel of Yeshiva University for 17 years and served as the head of the prestigious Bruriah Scholars Program at Midreshet Lindenbaum.

Rabbi Hefter will speak Friday night after Kabalat  Shabbat; in shul on Saturday before musaf; and over a community luncheon that will be held in our old space, the BJ Community House on West 89th St and West End Ave.

The SIR is sponsored by Ozzie Haller in memory of her husband, z”l, Jack Oliver Haller. Jack Haller was committed to Judaism and the significance of the community.  Ozzie’s goal is to continue his memory by bringing interesting ideas to the DN community.

Dr. Yael Zerubavel is a scholar of memory studies with an expertise in modern Israeli society and culture. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach that informs both her teaching and writing, her work explores collective memory and identity, national myths, the transformation of traditions, war and trauma, and cultural perceptions of space. Her work addresses the impact of nationalism, secularization, immigration and dislocation, the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the reshaping of Jewish memory in Israel and developments within Israeli culture. Her award-winning book—Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition (1995)—and numerous articles focus on the cultural construction of Israeli national myths and the politics of commemoration, drawing on historical sources, Hebrew literature, educational materials, popular and folkloric forms, as well as in-depth interviews.


Professor Zerubavel continues to explore the impact of the Holocaust and the Middle Eastern conflict on attitudes towards death, sacrifice, and bereavement and the image of the Israeli war-widow in Israeli fiction and film. She is nearing completion of a book entitled Desert in the Promised Land: Nationalism, Politics, and Symbolic Landscapes (forthcoming), and is at work on another that examines contemporary representations of antiquity and the changing role of the Bible in contemporary Israeli culture. Her study examines an array of cultural texts and mnemonic practices including works of fiction, media articles, popular performances, and tourist sites.

The Scholar-in-Residence Shabbat is sponsored by Mindy, Eric, Charlie and Maya Hecht in loving memory of Mindy's father, Dr. Charles H. Feldman, Yitzchak Tzvi ben Yaakov v'Leah, z"l.

Times and location of talks TBD.

Dr. Steven Cohen, Dec 1-2, 2017

We thank our anonymous donors for making this Shabbat possible. 

The title for Steve’s Friday night talk is:

“The Shrinking Jewish Middle -- How Family Choices Are Diminishing the Engaged Non-Orthodox”
(How late marriage, intermarriage and low fertility are producing a "climage change" in the contours of American Jewry.)

The title for Steve’s Shabbat morning (before musaf) talk is:
“Affection without Commitment: Emerging Trends in Jewish Identities”
(Charts how individualism, secularism, fluid boundaries and more are shaping Jewish identity, generation by generation.)

The title for the Shabbat lunch talk is:
“Responding to the Challenges of Jewish Life Today: A Conversation” with Dr. Steven Cohen facilitated by Rabbi Dan Smokler

Shabbat lunch will take place after kiddush at Deli Kasbah, located at 251 West 85th St.

Please join us in coming together as a community to learn as one!

Dr. Steven Cohen’s Biography:

STEVEN M. COHEN is Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at HUC-JIR, and Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ Stanford University. In 1992 he made aliyah, and taught at The Hebrew University, having previously taught at Queens College, Yale, and JTS. 

He has written hundreds of scholarly articles and policy-related reports, as well as a dozen books including The Jew Within (with Arnold Eisen) and Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experience (with Charles Liebman). He was the lead researcher on the Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011 and a consultant to the recently conducted Pew study of American Jews. 

Prof. Cohen received an honorary doctorate from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, the Marshall Sklare Award, and a National Jewish Book Award. He serves as president of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry.

Married to Rabbi Marion Lev-Cohen, Marion and Steven live in Jerusalem and New York. His daughter, Edeet is an attorney with the Tel Aviv criminal prosecutor, while his son Adam lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

Previous Speakers

5777: Moshe Halbertal, Christine Hayes, Leora Batnitzky, Alan Mintz, Jim Diamond

5776: Yehuda Levy-Aldema, Rabbi Lopatin, Sharon Koren, Lynn Kaye

5775: Gary Rendsburg, Gal Beckerman, Lynn Kaye, Yaffa Epstein

5774: Sam Kassow, Hasia Diner, Shai Held, Jacob Wright, Judy Klitsner, Dani Segal, Lucette Lagnado

5773: Debra Kaplan, Hindy Najman, James Diamond, Yehuda Mirsky

5772: Gila Keltenick, Jeremy Dauber

Wed, December 12 2018 4 Tevet 5779