Course Faculty

Courses at Genesis are unlike any high school classroom learning experience. They offer you an ideal environment to explore ideas about justice, diversity, responsibility and what it means to put passion into action. Each course provides a challenging, hands-on seminar experience without the pressure of tests or grades. Courses meet for 25 hours over the course of the summer.

Teams of instructors have created courses that help each participant understand and make personal connections between Jewish and secular studies. Instructors are professionals in their fields, PhD candidates and university professors.

Past Faculty

Beyond Belief: Exploring World Religions

Golan Ben-Chorin

Golan Ben-Chorin is a Rabbi and Doctor of Education. In keeping with his pan-denominational approach he received ordination from the Reform movement's Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and his doctorate from the Conservative movement's JTS in New York. As an international consultant he has contributed to Jewish community development and strategic planning across five continents including assignments in Israel, USA, the Former Soviet Union, Australia, Brazil and Hong Kong. Based on his doctoral thesis; "A Jewish Paradigm for Pluralistic Education", Golan combines hands-on experience of inter-cultural practice and the theoretical constructs from philosophy of education. Recently he co-founded The Haifa Forum for Interfaith Cooperation, designed and taught a year-long course for Hebrew Union College on the "Art of Leading Prayer Services" and has taught 'Multiple-Intelligence Gateways to Judaism' - an integration of tradition and renewal, utilizing creative disciplines for Jewish meaning-making. As an educational and spiritual innovator he is currently developing a unique framework for Jewish life in Rosh Pinah and directing the Israel semester program for Rabbinical students from the Leo Baeck College in England. With experience ranging from academia to new-age Chavurot, his experiential teaching approach, musical talent, and storytelling skills impart a "Midrashic" worldview. Golan joined the Genesis faculty in 2010.

Social Entrepreneurship

Jennie Kelly

Jennie Kelly is the Co-founder and COO of WorkAround, a social enterprise that works around the barriers to employment for refugees by connecting them to an online microwork crowdsourcing platform.  Refugees gain access to remote, flexible work that taps into their existing skills to generate, clean, tag, and organize training data sets for machine learning and AI companies.  Although this is her first startup, it is not her first experience with entrepreneurship.  Throughout her career living and working in places as different as Albania, Saudi Arabia, Liberia, South Africa, and Nicaragua, Jennie has seen again and again the power of combining education, economic opportunity and entrepreneurship.  Now armed with an MBA in non-profit management from the Heller School at Brandeis University,  Jennie is working to inspire, encourage, and support social entrepreneurship in all its forms.

Innovation and Revolution: Making, Breaking and Hacking 21st Century Technology

Russel Neiss

Equally fluent in Yiddish and Javascript, Russel Neiss is a Jewish educator, technologist and coder. Russel began his career as an itinerant Jewish educator traveling across the deep south and has worked in a variety of Jewish educational settings including day schools, supplemental schools, museums and archives. He holds a BA in Religious Studies and Jewish Studies from CUNY's Macaulay Honors College, an MLS with a specialization in digitization and instructional technology from Queens College and a MSEd in Educational Leadership from Brooklyn College. He currently serves as the Director of Educational Technology at G-dcast where he develops mobile and other interactive applications to raise Jewish literacy and help educators integrate technology in a pedagogically sound way.

Investigating Gender, Sexuality, and Society

Golan Moskowitz

Golan Moskowitz is a Jewish Studies lecturer at Smith College. He has a PhD in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, where he also earned a joint masters degree in Jewish Studies and Women's & Gender Studies. His scholarship focuses on relationships between Jewish studies and queer theory, intergenerational post-Holocaust perspectives, the life and work of Maurice Sendak, the history of the Jewish family and Jewish childhood, and comics and graphic narratives. Golan also holds a BA in Art from Vassar College, and his teaching continues to draw from the visual arts, integrating creative approaches to analyze intersections between the personal, the historical, and the political. His work has been recognized with honors including an Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship and a Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Research Award.

Culinary Connections: Discovering the Art and Anthropology of Jewish Food

Liz Alpern

Liz Alpern is co-founder of The Gefilteria, a boutique purveyor of Old World Jewish Foods. She is also co-author of The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods (Flatiron Books, 2016). Liz developed a hands-on knowledge of the food industry working as a baker in a professional pastry kitchen, managing a Vietnamese food truck and writing articles and recipes for The Jewish Daily Forward. She spent two years working with Joan Nathan on recipes and research for Nathan's most recent book, Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France. 

Before launching The Gefilteria in 2012, Liz worked with national non-profit Fair Food Network, coordinating food events across the country for the launch of the book: Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All. She and her business partner, Jeffrey Yoskowitz, teach workshops throughout the country on the topics of food, identity and Jewish culture. They also curate large-scale food events that highlight innovative Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine.

She is currently completing her MBA at CUNY Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business and was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list in Food & Wine for 2014. She is also a proud Genesis alum from the class of 2000!

Jeffrey Yoskowitz

Jeffrey Yoskowitz is a cook and writer on the forefront of Ashkenazi cuisine. He is the chief pickler and co-founder of The Gefilteria in Brooklyn, NY. In 2014 he was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list in Food & Wine. He gives talks and leads food workshops around the world.

Jeffrey began his career in the food world as a writer, having written feature articles on the intersection of food, culture and politics for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Gastronomica, Meatpaper and The Forward, among other publications. He created and edited the literary website Pork Memoirs. In 2011, he teamed up with Liz Alpern to launch The Gefilteria.

Before launching The Gefilteria, Jeffrey launched and ran Negev Nectars, working with sustainably-minded, small-scale Israeli farmers to bring gourmet artisanal foods to the US market. He had previously trained as an apprentice at Adamah Organic farm in Canaan, Connecticut, learning sustainable agriculture and the art of natural fermentation.