Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, ordained in the Jewish Renewal movement in 1981, is one of the first ten women ordained in the United States. Her creative vision has helped to shape the Jewish Renewal movement ever since. A ritualist, midrashist, and theologian, her book She Who Dwells Within: A Feminist Vision of a Renewed Judaism, is a groundbreaking exploration of Jewish archetypes of women and of the Divine feminine. She is the founder of the feminist theater troupe Bat Kol, which brought midrash, storytelling, and ceremony to hundreds of audiences. Rabbi Gottlieb is also a peacemaker who has been working on Jewish-Palestinian relations since 1966.
Rabbi Gottlieb is the co-founder of Congregation Nahalat Shalom in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she served for many years. Gottlieb now lives in Southern California, where she heads a new organization called Interfaith Inventions. This initiative is related to her work as co-founder of the Muslim-Jewish Peace Walk that created pilgrimages between synagogues and mosques and other supporting faith communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. As part of her interfaith community efforts, she is currently working on issues that relate to the way globalization is impacting the lives of young women around the world.
Deborah J. Grenn, Ph.D. and kohenet, is Core Faculty in New College of California Women's Spirituality MA Program. She is founder and director of The Lilith Institute (www.lilithinstitute.com) and Voice of the Spirit, a women's spirituality/study circle and series. Dr. Grenn hosted "Honoring The Sacred Feminine," a bimonthly segment on women and spirituality on KVON Radio, Napa, and co-produces the annual Napa Valley Women's Rites of Spring Festival.
Dr. Grenn's current research focuses on the religious/cultural identities, beliefs and ritual practices among the Lemba and other African Diasporic Jews & European-American Jewish women. Her publications include: Lilith's Fire (Universal Publishers, 2000), "How Women Construct And Are Formed By Spirit: She Who Is Everywhere In Women's Voices" in She Is Everywhere! edited by Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum (2005) and "Connecting With Deity Through a Feminist Metaformic Theology" in Metaformia: A Journal of Menstruation and Culture (www.metaformia.com, 2005) edited by Judy Grahn. Dr. Grenn serves on the Advisory Board of Catalyst to Coalition, which sponsors conferences focused on Anti-Semitism and the Left.
Shonna Husbands-Hankin is a Judaic artist who creates ritual Judaica, including silk tallitot, wedding contracts, oil and acrylic paintings, ceramics and fiber arts. Her work appears in many collections and synagogues around the country, and is featured in a Hyperion book, "Traditions," and in Anita Diamant's, "The New Jewish Wedding."
Rabbi Leah Novick is the oldest of the women rabbis in America. She is a spiritual teacher whose work is focuised on the Shekhinah (Divine feminine) within Judaism. She draws on traditional knowledge, combining it with meditation and guided visualization in her workshops. She is a liturgist, mystic, and theologian, and her work bringing the feminine back into Jewish ritual has been honored widely.
Rabbi Novick is also a performance artist: her most recent work is titled “The Peaceful Maccabee” and describes the life of Queen Salome Alexandra of Judea as well as eight other historical Jewish women. Rabbi Novick travels widely for lectures and workshops, teaching on the Zohar and many other topics. She is founder and spiritual adviser to Ruach Ha’Aretz, a West Coast retreat group.
Dr. Alicia Ostriker is a world-renowned poet and writer, as well as a midrashist, literary critic, and professor of English literature. Her books include No Heaven, The Volcano Sequence, Nakedness of the Fathers: Biblical Visions and Revisions, Feminist Revision and the Bible, The Crack in Everything, and Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America. She has taught feminist midrashic writing around the world for over a decade and is one of the foremost teachers in that field.
Dr. Ostriker is Professor Emerita in the English department at Rutgers University. She is a faculty member of the New England College Low-Residency Poetry MFA Program. Dr. Ostriker has performed her poetry at many universities and festivals in this country and abroad in England, Australia, Japan, Italy and Israel. Her work has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Society of America, the San Francisco State Poetry Center, the Judah Magnes Museum, the New Jersey Arts Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation.
Rabbi Rayzel Raphael brings a rich background in spirituality and ritual, feminism, and music to Judaism. She has worked for Hillel for 15 years and is now the Rabbi at Leyv Ha-Ir Reconstructionist Congregation in Philadelphia. Rabbi
Raphael is a gifted teacher who explores biblical women and the archetypes of the Divine feminine, as well as many other topics. She is a songwriter/liturgist and sings with MIRAJ, an a cappella trio. Bible Babes A-beltin' is her newest recording. Rabbi Raphael is also a ritual consultant for life cycle moments such as weddings, baby namings, and other sacred times.
Rabbi Raphael graduated from Brandeis University with a Masters in Contemporary Jewish Studies. She was awarded the Wexner Graduate Fellowship in 1989, and was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in1997. She received a scholarship in the Melton Senior Educator's Program at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1988-89.
Hanna Tiferet is a poet and a mystic through whom song and inspiration flow. She weaves together prayerful melodies and thoughtful teachings in a web of spirit and celebration. Hanna plants seeds of Jewish renewal wherever she goes and inspires people to experience peace and healing within and with each other.
Hanna was the first woman to receive the title of "Eshet Hazon"— Woman of Vision, and "M'yaledet N'shama" —Midwife of the Soul at a ceremony designed for her on Shavu'ot in 1982. She received ordination both as a rabbinic pastor (1992) and rabbi (2003) from Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and many of her rabbinic colleagues in Jewish Renewal. She earned a Masters of Jewish Studies Degree at Boston's Hebrew College in 2003 and studied at the Hebrew Univerity in Jerusalem as a Melton Senior Educator in 1996-97. She co-founded Congregation Or Shalom in Vancouver, British Columbia (1978-1987) and most recently served as co-spiritual leader at Congregation B'nai Or of Boston (1999-2006).
Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, co-founder and co-director of Encounter Programs, was ordained as a Conservative Rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary and currently represents the Seminary as a Rabbinic Fellow in Conservative communities throughout North America. Melissa also serves as Director of Education and Outreach at Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, and is the author of several articles treating the subjects of human dignity, war ethics, and human rights in Jewish sources. A noted speaker and educator, she has lectured and taught on Jewish theology, mysticism, and ethics in an array of conferences, synagogues, and adult education settings, including the Princeton Theological Seminary, the New York Kollel, and the Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality. Melissa has also designed curricula for a number of Jewish organizations, including the Panim Institute and the Conservative Movement's United Synagogue Youth (USY). An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship program, Melissa lived in Israel for six years and is a veteran of Jewish-Muslim and Israeli-Palestinian people-to-people initiatives. Recipient of a grant from the Samuel Ruben Foundation, Melissa is currently working on a book exploring Jewish religious responses to terror.