Rabbi Aryeh (Robert) Klapper
Rabbi Aryeh Klapper is Dean of the Center for Modern Torah Leadership and Rosh Beit Midrash of its Summer BeitMidrash Program, Instructor of Rabbinics and Medical Ethics at Gann Academy, and a member of the Boston Beit Din. He previously served as Orthodox Adviser and Associate Director for Education at Harvard Hillel and as Talmud Curriculum Chair at Maimonides High School. Rabbi Klapper has published in Tradition, Meorot, Dinei Yisrael, Beit Yitzchak and other journals and has presented at numerous academic and community conferences. He is a popular lecturer who is consulted internationally on issues of Jewish law and whose work is cited regularly by both academic and traditionalscholars. Many of his articles,sourcesheets, and lectures are available at summerbeitmidrash.org.
In his decade of service at Harvard Hillel, Rabbi Klapper's innovative teaching and personal warmth attracted a broad range of students to his classes and home. In the words of Harvard Hillel Executive Director Dr. Bernard Steinberg, he is "provocative and evocative'.
Rabbi Klapper's achievement in the area of Modern Orthodox leadership development is striking. One of every eight male Orthodox students to come through Harvard during his tenure has gone on to study for the rabbinate, and many more of both genders have taken advanced degrees in Jewish studies and/or taught in day schools. Three of the ten members of this year's entering class at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah are alumni of both Harvard and the Summer Beit Midrash, and this year's Pardes Kollel features both Harvard and SBM alums. Many other Harvard alums are taking prominent lay leadership roles in their communities, and SBM alums have launched innovative educational programs even before completing their graduate or rabbinic studies.
Rabbi Klapper's work at Harvard and the SBM has also had significant impact on developing non-Orthodox leaders. Harvard graduates are the spearhead of the growing movement within Conservative Judaism for "halakhic egalitarianism", and have founded innovative communities in various East Coast cities. Alumni attending JTS and RRC call him for advice and counsel, and the gabbaim of the Student Conservative and Reform minyanim attend his classes and ask him for halakhic guidance and decisions. He has accomplished all this from an explicit and uncompromised Orthodox stance.
Rabbi Klapper has also earned the respect of Harvard faculty. His innovative PARTNERSHIPS educational programs involved parallel presentations with faculty in their area of expertise, and his Faculty Talmud class was started by request after several such programs. Rabbi Klapper's academic credentials within the Jewish Studies communities have been burnished by several well-received papers at the Association of Jewish Studies.
Academic Publications and Academic Conference Presentation
בית יצחק , 2007
בית יצחק, 2007
בית יצחק, 2005
Rabbinic and Teaching Experience
Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) Kollel L'Horaah, 1991-4
RIETS, 1989-93 (ordained March 1994)
Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies (BRGS) -MA in Bible 1989
BRGS - PhD. Coursework in Talmud, 1990-94
Yeshiva College (YC), 1984-89 (BA in Political Science)
Mesivta Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, 1981-84
Fellowships and Awards
Wexner Graduate Fellowship, 1989-93
BRGS Fellowship, 1988-89
Professor Michael Bernstein Award for Excellence in Bible (BRGS), 1989
Max Stern Scholarship, 1984-88
Isaac Araten Award for Excellence in Bible (YC), 1988
Isaac Bacon Award for Excellence in Humanities (YC), 1988
Academy of American Poets Award (YC), 1988