Michal Smart is the Director of Judaic Studies at Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford, CT. A Fulbright Scholar in Jewish Thought, Michal received her A.B. from Princeton University in Religion and an M.S. from Cornell. She is also an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, the Melton Senior Educators Program at Hebrew University, and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Michal lectures widely on Jewish texts and philosophy, with a focus on Jewish women. Earlier, Michal pioneered Jewish outdoor and environmental education in the U.S. She is a founder of the TEVA Learning Center and co-author of Spirit in Nature: Teaching Judaism and Environment on the Trail (Behrman House, 2000). Michal lives in Stamford, CT with her husband, James, and their five children.
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Barbara Ashkenas received her BA in early childhood education from the Ohio State University, and a Masters in Art Education from Manhattanville College. She has been professionally involved in the Arts for over thirty years as a freelance calligrapher and educator, and currently conducts staff development seminars on the integration of the Arts into Jewish educational settings. Barbara has served as the Educational Outreach Coordinator at the Stamford Center for the Arts, an Adjunct Professor of Art Education at Housatonic Community College, and a member of the Drisha Arts Fellowship program. Barbara is an active member of Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, Connecticut where she is a founding member of the Women’s Tefillah Group and recent recipient of the Keter Torah award. She and her husband, Ron, are blessed with three adult children, son-in-law and daughter-in-law and three adorable grandchildren.