ALEPH Ordination Program Announcement of Dean Hire 

ALEPH Ordination Program

Training Rabbis, Rabbinic Pastors, Cantors, and Spiritual Directors for the Global Jewish Community



April 14, 2022 / 13 Nisan 5782

For more information, contact:

Tivona Reith, AOP Shomeret,

SooJi Min-Maranda, ALEPH Executive Director,

Following a six-month search process, the ALEPH Ordination Program (AOP) and ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal are delighted to announce the hire of Rabbi Darren Kleinberg, Ph.D., as AOP Dean, effective June 6, 2022. Rabbi Kleinberg will succeed the AOP’s founding dean, Rabbi Marcia Prager, who, along with Associate Dean Rabbi Steven Silvern, retired January 1, 2022.

The hire of Rabbi Kleinberg culminated from a unanimous recommendation to the AOP VAAD from the Dean Search Committee (DSC), glowing impressions from participants in stakeholder meet-and-greet gatherings (which included representatives from the VAAD, AOP student executive committee, AOP staff, ALEPH board, and Reb Marcia), and unanimous consent from the AOP VAAD.

In its recommendation report to the VAAD, the DSC summarized its enthusiastic support as follows:

Although most of us on the DSC did not know Darren well before the interview process began, we were all struck by his combination of heart and intellect, his pedagogic chops, his ability to think deeply and collaboratively as well as by his experience in successfully administering and helping to grow several multi-faceted Jewish educational programs. We found Darren to be a person of anavah and of deep Jewish learning that gently infuses his every day speech and way of being in the world. While Darren does not “come from” the ALEPH world writ small, he is a Renewalist and has been moving towards us for some time. Indeed, he has been deeply influenced by Reb Zalman . . .

In her conversation with Rabbi Kleinberg, Reb Marcia noted: 

I found him to be thoughtful, self-reflective, really smart, inclined to cooperation and a collegial style, interpersonally savvy … Clearly a multi-talented and highly motivated guy, and a mentsch. . . .  His enthusiasm for the AOP emphasis on spiritual growth and spiritual practice touched me. He is one of the few people I know who has read Reb Zalman’s book Spiritual Intimacy and PhD thesis on Hasidic counseling from cover to cover and taught from those texts.

More detailed information will be posted to the ALEPH website after Pesach, including a biosketch and resume for Rabbi Kleinberg, a link to a podcast interview, impressions from meet-and-greet participants, overview of the search process, etc. Chag sameach!