The Torah belongs to everyone. You don’t have to be a scholar or a rabbi to feel a significant connection to your Judaism. I am inspired by the democratic nature of our Jewish tradition and see Jewish text study as an important tool in this ‘Jewish democractic process’. I think that Jewish tradition prevails in the dialogue between the teacher and the student and true learning happens when each actively bring their perspective, experience and knowledge to the Beit Midrash (House of Study). Our stories are so important and help us to reveal our part of the Torah.
“My goal is for people and communities to feel inspired, connected, and responsible for their Jewish tradition.”
I practice this approach when I study Torah with students, coming together with the text as our guide. We each ask questions, challenge perspectives and listen. The text provides this neutral dialogue point that helps freedom happen. My goal here at HAMAQOM is for the people and communities I work with to feel inspired, connected and responsible for their Jewish tradition.
This perspective is also inspired by my own story. I grew up in Oakland and moved to Israel as a teenager. I have worked in Jewish organizations in Israel, the US and the UK and have a special love for Sephardic Rabbinic texts. I know how it feels to be on the outskirts of a community and how it feels to lead one. I feel comfortable in many different Jewish contexts, and sometimes I am uncomfortable too. I know that I can learn something from every person and community I meet.
Please be in touch with me if you’d like to study Jewish texts, learn more about Kevah, or build community around Jewish learning here at HAMAQOM.
Show me the history! I feel most connected to my Jewish identity when I’m exploring our history, narratives, people, and places. I won’t rest until I’ve learned the complete Jewish story (you can follow along with me at my podcast, Jew Oughta Know). But more importantly, I want to help others connect to Jewish life and learning in ways that are meaningful to them. So many people tell me that they want to dive into Jewish learning but don’t know where to start. That’s why I’m here! I can help point you in the right direction — or better yet, let’s you and I craft a path together and inspire others to join.
“I want to connect people to meaningful experiences centered around Jewish life and learning.”
I also know that it’s not enough for me to study history by myself all day long. I want a Jewish community, too. Whenever I meet people for coffee, I always ask the same question: what’s your ideal Jewish community at this point in your life? If you could design your own, what would it look like? A big part of my role here at HAMAQOM | The Place is building Jewish community around the Bay Area, bringing people together for meaningful connection, learning, and activities. If you’re between the ages of 25-45 and looking to find your place, hit me up!
The great Jewish philosopher Martin Buber said, “all journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” I’ve worked in the United States Congress, led Birthright Israel trips, and traveled to a few dozen countries. Most of the best experiences I never saw coming. So what’s next — what Jewish community, Jewish world, and Jewish history can we create together?