Editor in Chief
Susan is Editor-in-chief of Sh’ma Now. She is also Editor of two landmark Jewish anthologies, Celebrating the New Moon: A Rosh Chodesh Anthology (Jason Aronson Publishers) and A Heart of Wisdom: Making the Jewish Journey from Midlife through the Elder Years (Jewish Lights Publishing). Her writing has been included in several anthologies including Praise Her Works: Conversations With Biblical Women and The Women’s Passover Companion: Women’s Reflections on the Festival of Freedom. Susan is a board member of the Jewish Studio Project, based in Berkeley where she lives.
Rabbi Eugene Borowitz, z"l
Eugene Borowitz founded the journal Sh’ma in 1970. From 1962 until his death in January 2016, he taught Jewish theology and ethics at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He was the author of numerous books including Renewing the Covenant, The Jewish Moral Virtues, and Studies in the Meaning of Judaism.
Emily is an award-winning graphic designer with nearly 25 years of experience. Emily specializes in nonprofit marketing, brand identity and publication design. After working in the music and publishing industries, and as the creative director for two in-house marketing teams, she founded Emily Rich Design, Inc. in 2003. Emily’s work has been featured annually in Graphic Design:usa and her experience with magazine redesign has earned her recognition from Western Publications Association’s Maggie awards. Emily’s passion for design originates from her fine art background. She developed her proficiency in oil pastels, acrylics, watercolors and collage, and received her bachelor’s degree in Art History and French from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she graduated Cum Laude.
Robert J. Saferstein
Robert J. Saferstein is an interdisciplinary creative, entrepreneur, and development strategist. He harnesses ritual, media, design, and technology to craft digital and analog outputs that drive social good. For six years, Robert led efforts at Sh’ma Journal to deepen engagement and broaden reach where, as Market Development Director, he oversaw its strategic transformation into Sh’ma Now hosted by the Forward. Hailing from Akron, Ohio, and named to The Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36,” Robert received two Natan Grants for his sophisticated Shabbat experiences for gay Jews, Friday Night Lights. In 2015, Robert launched Eighteen:22, a Schusterman Connection Point in Salzburg, Austria, by bringing over 70 Jewish LGBTQ+ and ally changemakers together to cultivate a global network of visionaries working to advance positive change. He is currently partnering with JDC Entwine to develop their first LGBTQ+ global experience in Uruguay and Argentina this fall. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Robert is also accomplished in the worlds of art and entertainment: he is the founding Creative Director of Broadways Best Shows at JRA; his photography has been featured in publications including The New York Times; he is co-creator of the musicals Oedipus for Kids! and The Zegend of Lelda; and his film work includes Gun Hill Road, Beware the Gonzo, and TiMER.
Rachel is the Chief Jewish Officer of the JCC of San Francisco. As a Jewish educator specializing in adult and family education, Rachel has taught Jewish literature, history, and ethics at a wide variety of Bay Area institutions. She serves as a scholar-in-residence around the country and facilitates many non-synagogue-based Jewish lifecycle rituals each year. A New Yorker by birth and temperament, Rachel settled in the Bay Area in 1997, after spending a year in Israel on a Melton Senior Educator’s Fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She holds a master’s degree in rabbinic literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Rachel lives in Berkeley with her de facto “bashert” and their two de jure daughters.
Rabbi Richard Hirsh
Rabbi Hirsh is adjunct associate rabbi at Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, PA. and Rabbinic Program Director for Sicha (www.sichaconversation.org). From 1998-2014 he was Executive Director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and was Editor of the journal The Recontructionist from 1996-2006. He has also served congregations in Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Toronto.
Rabbi Jill Jacobs
Rabbi Jacobs is the Executive Director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, which mobilizes 1800 rabbis and cantors and tens of thousands of American Jews to protect human rights in North America and Israel. She is the author of Where Justice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community (2011) and There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition (2009). She has been named to the Forward’s list of 50 influential American Jews, to Newsweek’s list of the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America, and to the _Jerusalem Post’_s “Women to Watch.” She lives in New York with her husband, Guy Austrian, and their daughters Lior and Dvir.
Ari Y Kelman
Ari is the inaugural holder of the Jim Joseph Professorship in Education and Jewish Studies in the Stanford Graduate School of Education, where he also directs the Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies. He holds a courtesy appointment in Religious Studies and is a faculty-affiliate of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, the American Studies Program, and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies. He is the author of a few books about American Jewish life and culture, including Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio and Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary. His research revolves around the ongoing exploration of how people learn to develop religious sensibilities, and it has taken him to church, to Krakow, Poland, to many b’nai mitzvah and deep into the archives of religious music of the early 1970s.
Shaul Magid is the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Chair in Jewish Studies at Indiana University. His teaching focuses on Kabbala, Hasidism, Judaism and gender, Israel/Palestine, and American Jewish thought and culture. He is the author of Hasidism on the Margin: Reconciliation, Antinomianism, and Messianism in Izbica and Radzin Hasidism (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), and most recently, American Post-Judaism: Identity and Renewal in a Postethnic Society (Indiana University Press, 2013) and Hasidism Incarnate: Hasidism, Christianity, and the Construction of Modern Judaism (Stanford University Press, 2014). He is a Kogod Senior Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of America and rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue.
Rabbi Lee Moore
Rabbi Lee Moore is currently taking a personal shmittah, focusing on embodiment. Previously she served Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah and Hillel at Kent State. Prior to her ordination from Hebrew College Rabbinical School in 2010, she worked in the fields of organizational development and spiritual retreat production, and spent many moons living and learning in Israel. She holds an MS in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan, where her thesis addressed Shabbat as an Environmentally Sustainable Institution, and a BA in Religious Studies from Wesleyan University.
Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg
Rabbi Ruttenberg is the author of Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in the Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder, and Radical Amazement of Parenting (Flatiron Books), as well as Surprised By God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion (Beacon Press), nominated for the 2010 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish literature. She is also editor of The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism (NYU Press) and Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism (Seal Press), and co-editor of three books on Jewish ethics. She was named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of ten “rabbis to watch,” and the Forward as one of the top 50 most influential women rabbis. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Salon,and other publications, and has been a Sh’ma advisory board member since 2010.
Rabbi Avi Killip
Rabbi Avi Killip serves as Vice President of Strategy and Programs and Director of Project Zug at Mechon Hadar. Avi was ordained from Hebrew College’s pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. Avi has worked as a teacher and Jewish professional in two synagogues, an independent minyan, a mikveh, and a yeshiva.
Josh is the Springboard Fellowship Director at Hillel International. He is passionate about the intersections of creativity and leadership. Most recently Josh was the Founding Director of the Institute for Jewish Creativity and Assistant Dean of the Whizin Center for Continuing Education at American Jewish University. Previously, he was the Director of the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists. Prior to that, Josh was the Jeremiah Fellowship National Director for the Progressive Jewish Alliance, now known as Bend the Arc. He is an alumnus of the Jeremiah Fellowship, Selah and ROI. He is a skilled trainer and coach who focuses on creativity and leadership development. Clients have included the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Hebrew Union College, Builders of Jewish Education, PresenTense and theatre dybbuk . Josh is a co-founder of East Side Jews and was an advisor to Seder2015 and The Nonprofit Learning Lab (NLL). He holds a MA in Education with a concentration in Creativity and Leadership from Prescott College and a BFA in Performance Studies and Media Production from Emerson College. Josh lives in Echo Park with his wife, Ayana, and their three children, Lazer, Diggy and Selma.