The ALEPH Ordination Program Welcomes two new members to the AOP VAAD and Core Faculty

August 2017

With great delight, the ALEPH Ordination Program welcomes two new members who join our Core Faculty and will sit on the Ordination Program VAAD.

The AOP, with nearly 90 students in 4 schools is now the largest rigorous liberal seminary in the United States. Its Rabbinic, Cantorial, Rabbinic Pastor and Spiritual Direction Programs serve students on several continents, combining state-of the art videoconferencing and residential retreat-based learning. The AOP VAAD is the core administrative and organizational council that directs the seminary, advises students, and designs and coordinates the educational offerings that constitute the curriculum of the programs.

The new members of the AOP VAAD join a group of seasoned educators and spiritual leaders who have devoted their careers to serving the Jewish world by creating an inspirational and spiritually vibrant educational environment that enables gifted future leaders to train as rabbis, cantors, rabbinic pastors/chaplains, and spiritual directors, while continuing to live in and serve their home communities.

The AOP VAAD welcomes:

Rabbi Thiede.goodRabbi Shulamit Thiede, Ph.D
Rabbi Shulamit Thiede, Ph.D. teaches Hebrew Bible, Judaism and Jewish history, the Holocaust and the history of European anti-Semitism in the Department of Religious Studies at UNC-Charlotte. She was ordained in 2011 as a rabbi and in 2012 as a mashpi’ah ruchanit by ALEPH.  Rabbi Thiede founded Temple Or Olam, the first Jewish Renewal congregation in North Carolina.  Rabbi Thiede has written and published in a wide variety of settings; her current research project focuses on ritual items created by the women of Ashkenaz. Rabbi Thiede has founded two peace organizations, two interfaith organizations, and a chess school. She was the first Jewish member of the Kannapolis-Concord Ministerial Association, the first Jewish religious leader in Cabarrus County, and has served as the faculty advisor for UNCC’s Hillel group and the Interfaith Alliance.   As a member of the AOP VAAD, she will serve as a Director of Studies and Core Faculty in the History Dept. She blogs at


natanmargalitRabbi Natan Margalit. Ph.D
Rabbi Natan Margalit was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received rabbinic ordination at The Jerusalem Seminary in 1990 and earned a Ph.D. in Talmud from U.C. Berkeley in 2001.  He has taught at Bard College, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. Natan is Rabbi of The Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life, in Connecticut.  He is Founder and President of Organic Torah Institute, a non-profit organization that fosters holistic thinking about Judaism, environment and society. (  As a member of the AOP VAAD, he will serve as a Director of Studies and as Chair and Core Faculty of the Rabbinic Text Dept. He lives in Newton, MA with his wife Ilana and their two sons.