Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, PhD, is the force behind a range of initiatives and programs that bring together interfaith thinkers, writers, and activists, with particular emphasis on building bridges of understanding and respect between Muslims and Jews. She is the founding director of the Department of Multifaith Studies and Initiatives at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She blogs at www.multifaithworld.org, and her articles periodically appear online on the religion page of the Huffington Post. She is the author of Parenting as a Spiritual Journey (1998).
Rabbi Rachel Adler, PhD, is the David Ellenson Professor of Modern Jewish Thought and Gender Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. She was one of the first theologians to integrate feminist perspectives and concerns into the interpretation of Jewish texts and the renewal of Jewish law and ethics. Her essay "The Jew Who Wasn't There" (1971) is sometimes considered the first piece of Jewish feminist theology, and her bold reading of Jewish theology,Engendering Judaism (1999), won a National Jewish Book award, the first awarded to a feminist theologian. She has authored many articles and is working on a book on theology of suffering.
Barbara Eve Breitman, DMin, LCSW, a psychotherapist in private practice in Philadelphia, works at the interface of psychotherapy, pastoral care, spirituality and Judaism. She was instrumental in developing the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s (RRC) program in spiritual direction, and at RRC she serves as Assistant Professor of Pastoral Counseling and Director of Training of the Jewish Spiritual Direction Program. A founding faculty member of Lev Shomea, a program of Elat Chayyim/Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, she co-edited Jewish Spiritual Direction: An Innovative Guide From Traditional and Contemporary Sources (2006).
Rabbi Amy Eilberg, MSW, directs interfaith dialogue programs in the Twin Cities, including at the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, and serves on the adjunct faculty of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. One of the matriarchs of the Jewish Healing movement, Eilberg directed the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center's Hospice Care Program, and also served as the co-director of the Morei Derekh Training Program for Jewish Spiritual Direction. The first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (1985), she is the author of From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace (Orbis Books, 2014).
Rabbi Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, PhD, is Professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC–JIR) in Los Angeles, the first woman appointed to the Rabbinical Faculty at HUC–JIR. She is the editor of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary (2008), which won the National Jewish Book of the Year Award. Her publications include In an Age of Prose: A Literary Approach to Ezra–Nehemiah (1988), Telling Queen Michal's Story (1991) and the JPS Bible Commentary: Ruth (2011; winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award in Women’s Studies). She was ordained in 2013 (HUC-JIR, LA). Eskenazi also recently received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2012–2013).
Ellen Frankel, PhD, has had a rich career as a writer and editor, and has most recently written the libretto for Slaying the Dragon, an opera based upon a true story. After heading the Jewish Publication Society for eighteen years, she now serves as its first Editor-in-Chief Emerita. Her publications include The Five Books of Miriam (1997), which was published in Hebrew as Midrash Miryam, (2007), The Jewish Spirit: A Celebration in Stories and Art (1997), and three books for young people. Frankel also contributed to the ten-volume commentary series, My People’s Prayerbook (Jewish Lights).
Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman, MSW, offers spiritual guidance, training and consultation through Growing Older, a private practice in Philadelphia. She founded and directed Hiddur: The Center for Aging and Judaism of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College where she served on the faculty. The founding director of chaplaincy services at Philadelphia Geriatric Center, Friedman is the author of Jewish Visions for Aging: A Professional Guide for Fostering Wholeness (2008); editor, Jewish Pastoral Care: A Practical Handbook from Traditional and Contemporary Sources ( 2nd edition, 2010) and the forthcoming Provisions for the Journey: Jewish Wisdom for Growing Older.
Rabbi Laura Geller, Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills since 1994, was the third woman to be ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She was twice named one of Newsweek’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America and was featured in the PBS documentary Jewish Americans. A frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, she is author of numerous articles in books and journals. She is a fellow of the Corporation of Brown University.
Blu Greenberg, a pioneering feminist in the traditional Jewish community, is founding President of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. Dialogue work has been another long term passion of hers. She has participated in numerous interfaith and inter-denominational enterprises and was co-founder of the Dialogue Group (Jewish/Palestinian women) and founding member of the Jewish Women’s Dialogue. Her books include On Women and Judaism: A View from Tradition (1981), How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household (1983), and Black Bread: Poems After the Holocaust (1994).
Rabbi Julie Greenberg works with individuals, couples, and families in her Counseling with Soul practice. A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, she serves as spiritual leader of Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City: Philadelphia’s Center City Reconstructionist Congregation. She is the author of a forthcoming book, Just Parenting: Building the World One Family at a Time (2013). Greenberg and her family were featured in the cover story of Lilith Magazine (Summer 2010).
Rabbi Margaret Holub serves as the spiritual leader of the Mendocino Coast Jewish Community and spent a recent sabbatical in South Africa interviewing Afrikaner church leaders about their experiences of apartheid. The author of "A Cosmology of Mourning" in Lifecycles, Vol. 1:Jewish Women on Life Passages & Personal Milestones (1994) and "The Good, the Bad, and the Possible: Some Thoughts on Jewish Women Making Community" in Lifecycles, Vol. 2: Jewish Women on Biblical Themes and Contemporary Life (1997), she currently serves as co-chair of the Rabbinical Council of Jewish Voice for Peace.
Rabbi Vivian Mayer brings together her gifts as a teacher and interpreter of traditional text skills with her pastoral skills in her work with rabbinic students as the Director of the Preparatory Year and the Bet Midrash at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She served as rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Danbury, Connecticut for ten years, where she also served as a chaplain for Jewish women at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury.
Rabbi Vanessa Ochs, PhD, is a prolific writer and teacher whose books span three decades of Jewish feminist thought. Professor in the Department of Religious Studies of the University of Virginia, her books include Inventing Jewish Ritual (2007), Sarah Laughed (2004), The Jewish Dream Book (with Elizabeth Ochs) (2003), Safe and Sound: Protecting Your Child In Unpredictable World (1995), and Words on Fire: One Woman’s Journey into the Sacred (1990; revised 1999). She served as Consulting Editor for two issues of Nashim dedicated to the theme of Jewish Women’s Spirituality (2005:9 & 10).
Rabbi Hara Person is a visionary editor, a writer of both poetry and prose, and an individual who shepherds ideas into books. She works as Publisher and Director of the Central Conference of American Rabbis Press. The Managing Editor for the award winning The Torah: A Jewish Woman’s Commentary (2008), her publications include That You May Live Long: Caring for Aging Parents, Caring for Ourselves (2003), and Stories of Heaven and Earth: Bible Heroes in Contemporary Children’s Literature (2005).
Judith Plaskow, PhD, is widely recognized as the first Jewish feminist theologian. Her first book, Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective (1990), challenged and changed the way Jews think about gender, revelation, community, and God. The co-founder and co-editor of The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, she is the author of The Coming of Lilith: Essays on Feminism, Judaism, and Sexual Ethics, 1972–2003 (2005). Plaskow retired as Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College in 2012.
Rabbi Ruth H. Sohn has spent a career as a teacher of Jewish texts. She currently directs the Rabbinic Mentoring Program, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles and serves on the faculty of Morei Derech Spiritual Direction Training Program of the Yedidya Center. Her essays and poetry have appeared in many publications. She is the author of Crossing Cairo: A Jewish Woman’s Encounter with Egypt (2013).
Ellen M. Umansky, PhD, is the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Professor of Judaic Studies, Fairfield University. She is the author of From Christian Science to Jewish Science: Spiritual Healing and American Jews (2005), Four Centuries of Jewish Women’s Spirituality (1992; rev. ed. 2009), and two books on Lily Montagu. She is working on a book-length work of constructive feminist theology.
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg pioneered in developing the practice of Jewish meditation. A co-founder of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, she directs the Institute's Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training. She is the author of Surprisingly Happy: An Atypical Religious Memoir (2009). She served for thirteen years as rabbi of the Jewish Community of Amherst (Reconstructionist), after years of service in Hillel and Jewish communal service agencies.
Wendy Zierler, PhD, brings her talents as a reader and interpreter of traditional and modern texts to her work as professor of Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, New York. She is the co-editor and translator of Selected Works of Hava Shapiro (2008) and And Rachel Stole the Idols: The Emergence of Modern Hebrew Women’s Writing (2004). She served as consulting editor for two issues of Nashim dedicated to the theme of Gender and Books (2008:15 & 16).