The OU-Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) Program

Click here for halachic guidelines published by Rabbi Yaakov Taubes

JLIC is a project of the Orthodox Union and Hillel. JLIC educators are positioned on campuses in order to provide avenues to spiritual development and exploration for Jewish students from varied backgrounds and to present a positive, sophisticated and welcoming faces for Orthodox Judaism on campus.

The JLIC educators dedicate themselves towards enabling, encouraging and advancing the Torah education, observance and life of Orthodox college students on campus.

They do this through formal and informal teaching, developing informal relationships with students, and being a presence on campus to enable growth and learning experiences.

The Orthodox Community at Penn is privileged to have Rabbi Yaakov Taubes and Racheli Taubes living on-campus to fulfill this role.


Rabbi Yaakov Taubes, is a 3rd generation Teaneck resident (and proud of it!). He studied for two years in Kerem B’Yavneh (KBY) before attending YU where he earned his BA in History and Jewish Studies. Following college, Yaakov was a Presidential Fellow working part time in the Office of the Dean at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) while simultaneously studying for Semikha at RIETS. After completing the fellowship, Yaakov continued to work for the RIETS office where he directed programming and other administrative responsibilities including running the 2014 Chag HaSemikha. He completed his Masters Degree in Medieval Jewish History from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and plans on pursuing a PhD in the same field. He is also a gabbai with over seven years of experience in the field.

Yaakov is an avid reader with interests ranging from bottled water, to American presidents, to the early history of the State of Israel, to animals rights and ethics. He enjoys reading and learning new things (which are often great conversation starters). He also enjoys a good game of tennis, air hockey and can hold his own playing the drums on Guitar Hero (among other games). He is the proud father of Yisrael who currently holds the title “smiliest baby.”

racheliRacheli Taubes grew up in Brooklyn, New York (28th and Avenue R to be exact). She studied for a year in Israel at Michlalah and then attended Stern College for Women where she majored in Jewish Education and minored in chemistry. She was in the first cohort of the Legacy Heritage Jewish Educators Program, a program that trains Jewish educators through courses in education, psychology and Judaic studies, as well as intensive fieldwork in classroom settings. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.

Post graduation from college, she worked at the Institute for University-School Partnership as a YU Presidential Fellow, which gave her a holistic approach to Jewish education. After that she taught 6th grade Navi and 8th grade Chumash at Yeshivat Noam Middle School in Paramus, NJ. Racheli has a large in interest in Jewish education and communal work and is looking forward to bringing her passion to the Penn Jewish Community. In her spare time, Racheli enjoys scrapbooking, reading, drawing, and singing with baby Yisrael.