Meet The Team
Meet The Team
Dr. Bezawit Abebe
Dr. Bezawit Abebe is a research fellow at Be’chol Lashon. She is a human rights activist, and before coming to America, lived in Israel.
She held various positions in legal and philanthropic organizations striving for integration, empowerment, and equality of the Ethiopian Israeli community.
She previously worked at Tebeka, advocating for the Ethiopian community’s human rights, and lectured on human rights extensively in Israel.
Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, PhD
Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder is the Director of Education at Be'chol Lashon, an organization that celebrates and promotes the racial diversity of the Jewish people.
She was ordained at HUC, has a PhD in Jewish History, and is a frequent writer and teacher on Jewish topics.
Dr. Mijal Bitton
Dr. Mijal Bitton is a sociologist of American Sephardic Jews, a Scholar-in-Residence at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and the Rosh Kehilla of the Downtown Minyan.
Dr. Sophie Bjork-James
Dr. Sophie Bjork-James is an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University with more than 10 years of experience researching both the US-based Religious Right and the white nationalist movements.
Her work has been featured on NBC Nightly News, NPR’s All Things Considered, BBC Radio 4’s Today, and in the New York Times. She has published op-eds in the LA Times, Religious Dispatches, and the Conversation. She is a senior fellow with the Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right.
Rabbi Jonathan K. Crane, PhD
Rabbi Jonathan K. Crane, PhD serves as the Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar in Bioethics and Jewish Thought at Emory’s Center for Ethics.
A Professor of Medicine and Director of the Food Studies and Ethics Initiative, he is a past president of the Society of Jewish Ethics, founder and co-editor of the Journal of Jewish Ethics, and author or editor of several books, including and Judaism, Race, and Ethics: Conversations and Questions (2020).
Dr. Jennifer Glaser
Dr. Jennifer Glaser is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Cincinnati.
She is affiliate faculty in Judaic Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati, as well as the Training Core Co-Director for the Ohio Policy Evaluation Network, a collaborative project on reproductive rights and legislation in Ohio.
She is also the Book Review Editor of Studies in American Jewish Literature.
Dr. Mark Goldberg
Dr. Mark Goldberg is an Associate Professor of History and Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Houston. He researches and teaches courses on U.S. Latinx history, immigration, and the history of borders.
Dr. Maxwell Greenberg
Dr. Maxwell Greenberg is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Jewish, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.
He received his PhD in Chicana/o and Central American Studies at UCLA. He teaches, writes, and researches about race and religion in settler border contexts, with a focus on North America.
Dr. Buffie Longmire-Avital
Dr. Buffie Longmire-Avital is a diversity, inclusion, and racial equity (D.I.R.E ©) scholar-educator. She is a professor of psychology and the inaugural director of the Black Lumen Project, an equity initiative at Elon University.
Her research focuses on how systemic injustices and resulting psychosocial factors contribute to health inequities that impact racial and sexual minorities.
As a DIRE consultant and speaker, she works closely with Jewish communities and organizations throughout the US on how to begin having conversations about race, equity, and inclusion.
Dr. Devin Naar
Dr. Devin Naar is an associate professor of History and Jewish studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he serves as the chair of the Sephardic Studies Program.
He teaches courses on Sephardic history and culture; Jewish history; the history and memory of the Holocaust; race and migration from the Mediterranean to the Americas; and the "color line" in Seattle.
Dr. Shana Sippy
Shana Sippy is an Associate Professor of Religion at Centre College.
She is engaged in public scholarship as the Co-director of Religions Minnesota, a Research Associate in the Department of Religion at Carleton College, and a founding member of the Feminist Critical Hindu Studies Collective.
Her scholarship examines the articulation and politics of identity and focuses on the making of Jewish and Hindu selves and communities in modernity.
Dr. Amanda Beckenstein Mbuvi
Amanda Mbuvi is a scholar of the Hebrew Bible, author, and teacher with a wellspring of academic, administrative, and nonprofit leadership experience. She serves as the vice president for academic affairs for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and is the first Jew of Color to lead an American rabbinical school.
In addition to numerous scholarly articles, Mbuvi is the author of Belonging in Genesis: Biblical Israel and the Politics of Identity Formation, (Baylor University Press, 2016). Mbuvi takes an interdisciplinary approach to biblical studies, engaging questions of identity and community that are as present in the biblical text as they are in contemporary society.
She also spearheaded the creation of High Point University’s first minor in Jewish studies. She serves on the board of the Society for Jewish Ethics and was a program co-chair for its annual meeting from 2019-21.
Mbuvi earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and literary theory from Bryn Mawr College, a Master of Theological Studies degree from Palmer Theological Seminary, and both a Ph.D. in religion and a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University.
Dr. Analucía Lopezrevoredo
Analucía Lopezrevoredo is a Peruvian-Chilean-Quechua-American Jewtina, born in Peru and raised in Spain and the United States.
Her passion for elevating Latino/x culture and narratives within the Jewish community led her to found Jewtina y Co.-- an organization dedicated to nurturing Latin-Jewish community, identity, leadership, and resiliency that also invites community members to engage in critical dialogue about Jewish and Latin multiculturalism.
Prior to founding Jewtina y Co., she worked as a researcher for the Center to Advance Racial Equity in Portland, Oregon, organized as a migrant rights advocate in California's Central Valley, southwestern México, and southeastern Perú, and worked at JIMENA, OneTable, and Bend the Arc in the San Francisco Bay Area.
She is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University's Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, the University of the Pacific's Benerd School of Education, and Portland State University's Graduate School of Social Work.
An anti-oppression educator and researcher, Analucía's research interests include Latino/x migration studies, asset-based and culturally-relevant education models for immigrant integration, documenting and strengthening resiliency amongst Latino/x migrants, Latino/x identity development, social determinants of education, social movements, anti-oppressive practice and how to teach effectively on these issues.
Dr. Helen Kim
Helen Kim is a Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Her scholarship focuses on race and American Judaism in the contemporary era and has been profiled in the New York Times, NPR, and Huffington Post.
Along with co-author, Noah Leavitt, she published JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America's Newest Jews in 2016 with the University of Nebraska Press. She currently serves as Research Editor of Contemporary Jewry and is a Board Member of the Association for Jewish Studies.
In addition to her academic work, Helen has presented and consulted with various American Jewish communal organizations and educational institutions on diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism.
In her capacity as a Senior Advisor to this project, Helen is especially interested in utilizing and translating rigorous research into applied settings.
Dr. Marc Dollinger
Marc Dollinger holds the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University.
He has served as research fellow at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Religion as well as the Andrew W. Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow and Lecturer in the Humanities at Bryn Mawr College, where he coordinated the program in Jewish Studies.
He is the author of four scholarly books in American Jewish history, most recently Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing The Alliance in the 1960s. He has published entries in the Encyclopedia Judaica, the Encyclopedia of Antisemitism, and the Encyclopedia of African American Education.
His next project, A Tale of Two Campuses: Jews and Identity Politics in the Golden State, traces his experiences as a Jewish professor at both right-wing and left-wing universities.
Dr. Samira K. Mehta
Samira Mehta is an Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies and of Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research and teaching focus on the intersections of religion, culture, and gender, including the politics of family life and reproduction in the United States.
Her first book, Beyond Chrismukkah: The Christian-Jewish Interfaith Family in the United States (University of North Carolina Press, 2018) was a National Jewish book award finalist.
Mehta’s current academic book project, God Bless the Pill: Sexuality and Contraception in Tri-Faith America examines the role of Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant voices in competing moral logics of contraception, population control, and eugenics from the mid-twentieth century to the present and is under contract with the University of North Carolina Press.
She has a book of personal essays entitled The Racism of People Who Love You: Essays on Mixed Race Belonging forthcoming from Beacon Press in 2023.
She is the primary investigator of a Henry Luce Foundation funded project entitled “Jews of Color: Histories and Futures,” a project dedicated to recovering and sharing the stories of Jews of color in the United States and to exploring the complex relationship between white supremacy and Jewish life in the United States.
She holds degrees from Swarthmore College. Harvard University, and Emory University.
Rabbi Sandra Lawson
Sandra Lawson works with senior staff, lay leaders, clergy, rabbinical students, and Reconstructionist communities to help Reconstructing Judaism realize its deeply held aspiration of becoming an anti-racist organization and movement. A 2018 Reconstructionist Rabbinical College graduate, she is one of the first African American, queer, female rabbis.
As a thought-leader, she has consciously sought to alter the perception of what a rabbi — and the rabbinate — looks like. Lawson models what it means to teach Torah in digital spaces. She has built a following of more than 50,000 people on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok.
Prior to joining Reconstructing Judaism, Lawson served as the Associate Chaplain for Jewish Life and the Senior Jewish Educator at Hillel at Elon University in North Carolina. She is also the founder of Kol Hapanim – All Faces – an inclusive, Jewish community that is relevant, accessible, and rooted in tradition, where all who come are welcomed and diversity is embraced.
She graduated from Florida’s Saint Leo University magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in sociology from Clark Atlanta University.
Rabbi Mira Wasserman, PhDProject Director
Mira Beth Wasserman’s work as a rabbi and scholar bridges Talmud study, community building, and the pursuit of social justice. In addition to leading the Center for Jewish Ethics, she teaches rabbinic literature at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
Her academic research focuses on the art of the Babylonian Talmud and on how the Talmud can be deployed to support contemporary Jewish ethics.
Her book, Jews, Gentiles, and other Animals: The Talmud after the Humanities (Penn Press, 2017), is an exploration of what it means to be human according to the Talmud; it was awarded the Salo Baron Prize for the best first book in Jewish studies published in 2017.
Mira also engages in public scholarship on race, gender, and Jewish ethics.
Eli Cohn-PostellProject Manager
Eli Cohn-Postell is a project management consultant and educator. His professional interests include the intersection of race and American Judaism, equity and inclusion, and Israel/Palestine.
A member of a mixed-race family, Eli has made it a part of his mission to pursue projects that help families like his can express their Jewish identities comfortably.
Eli holds master’s degrees in Jewish Professional Leadership and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, where he wrote his thesis on the Americanization of Zionism in the 21st century.
He has led over ten trips to Israel/Palestine for both Jewish and non-Jewish groups. Eli lives outside of Boston with his wife, Cheyenne, and their daughter, Miri.
Rabbi Shahar ColtCurriculum Writer
Shahar Colt specializes in creating welcoming, Jewishly rich experiences for communities with interfaith and multicultural families. She currently serves as rabbi for Congregation Ahavas Achim (Westfield, MA) and as one of the interfaith chaplains at Westfield State University.
In addition, she directs the education programs at Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue (Jamaica Plain, MA) and teaches biblical Hebrew for the Hebrew College Rabbinical School (Newton, MA).
As a freelance curriculum developer, she has worked with the Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters mikveh and the U.S./Middle East Project. She is very excited to learn from the research happening in this project and looks forward to creating materials to facilitate broader engagement with them.
Deitra Reiser, PhDCurriculum Writer
Deitra Reiter is the founder and principal of Transform for Equity, LLC, an antiracist repair group. She partners with nonprofits and synagogues to further racial equity and justice within the organization.
Deitra believes that organizations will transform into equitable spaces through individual internal change which is then harnessed to drive intentional systemic change. She is skilled at creating spaces for people to explore their identities using intersectional identities as a frame.
Deitra created a curriculum used across the country entitled Building Racial Stamina in Jewish Community and has partnered with the Union for Reform Judaism and National Council for Jewish Women along with other Jewish organizations across the country.
She has close to 20 years of experience as a school psychologist. She is an alumna of Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program, a Schusterman Fellow and holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Meredith LewisInstructional Designer
Meredith Lewis serves as the Director of Community Impact and Partnerships at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.
Previously she served as the Director of Content, Education, and Family Experience for PJ Library in North America and at 70 Faces Media (MyJewishLearning.com and Kveller.com) in a variety of roles including managing editor, interim executive director, and chief operating officer.
Meredith is on faculty at the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership program at Brandeis University and consults for a variety of Jewish organizations on user experience, website and content design, and education.
She holds an MPA and an MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University, and a BS in Journalism from Northwestern University.
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