Project Team

The Bais Yaakov Project team at YIVO, March 24, 2019. Photo: Steve Beltzer.

Naomi Seidman is the Chancellor Jackman Professor of the Arts in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow; her 2019 book, Sarah Schenirer and the Bais Yaakov Movement: A Revolution in the Name of Tradition, explores the history of the movement in the interwar period.

headshot of dainy bernstein

Dainy Bernstein is a PhD Candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center, finishing their dissertation, “American Haredi Children’s Literature, 1980-2000.” They teach composition and literature at Lehman College. 

Dikla Yogev is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation is focused on police legitimacy among the Haredi community in Israel. Dikla is well versed in statistics, research methods, and program evaluation.

Leslie Ginsparg Klein is the Academic Dean of Women’s Institute of Torah Seminary/Maalot Baltimore, an Orthodox Jewish college for women. An accomplished scholar and author, Dr. Klein speaks on Jewish history, Tanach, leadership and communication skills across the United States and internationally. Dr. Klein received her Ph.D. from New York University, where she researched the history of Orthodox girls’ education in America and the Bais Yaakov movement. She is an alumna of Michlalah, Stern College for Women and the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, and a recipient of the New York Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36” award (2009). Dr. Klein lives in Baltimore with her husband and children. 

Pearl Gluck is developing a film based on Naomi Seidman’s Sarah Schenirer and Bais Yaakov: A Revolution in the Name of Tradition. 

Pearl is an award-winning filmmaker. Her work includes Divan (2004),  Where Is Joel Baum? (2012), The Turn Out, Junior (2017), Summer (2018) Soundwalk: Williamburg (2007), Goyta (2007), and Great Balls of Fire (2001). Pearl has appeared in A Life Apart: Hasidism in America (1998). She teaches screenwriting and directing at Penn State University. Her work can be seen at: palinkapictures.com.

Basya Schechter (Pharaoh’s Daughter) is a musician and composer whose work explores—and explodes—Orthodox musical idioms. She has been arranging the archival Bais Yaakov songs for a band and choir. The Bais Yaakov Project will record, distribute, and perform this music in a range of venues.

Sandra Chiritescu is a PhD candidate in Yiddish Studies at Columbia University where she is also pursuing certificates in Comparative Literature and Gender Studies. When she isn’t teaching Yiddish or processing archival materials at Columbia’s Rare Books and Manuscript Library, she works on translation projects, such as the Yiddish children’s stories in the volume In the Land of Happy Tears (Penguin Random House, 2018). She is also a research assistant for the YIVO Bruce and Francesca Cernia Slovin Online Museum and an editorial board member of In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies.

Frieda Vizel grew up in the Hasidic community in Kiryas Joel. She is a New York City tour guide specializing in Brooklyn’s Orthodox neighborhoods. She blogs about her experiences and research at friedavizel.com/blog.