Major: Master of Arts, Midrash and Biblical Exegesis
After JTS (I plan to): make Jewish theater that is intellectually provocative and spiritually compelling, relevant in today's world and linked to the rabbinic tradition of our People from the last 2,000 years.
Extracurricular/cocurricular activities: Educator at Nehirim, Limmud NY, and the Hebrew school circuit; musical director and composer of Chalom: A Dream Opera, NYC International Fringe Festival; assistant director to Yossi Yizraely for Bratslav-Beethoven-Bratslav at JTS; curator of the 2013 Drisha Arts Fellowship Exhibition at the JCC of Manhattan; and cofounder of Meta-Phys Ed, a Jewish multidisciplinary performance collaborative
Internship(s): Spiritual team leader of Kehillat Romemu's Young Tish
Favorite classes at JTS: Death in Aggadic Narratives with Rabbi Burton Visotzky and Music Composition with Cantor Gerald Cohen
Best JTS experience: Doing an independent study on Pirkei Rabbi Eliezer with Professor Visotzky and composing music for a puppetry piece about the life of the Sage Eliezer ben Hyrcanus. Three favorite things about living in New York City: The diversity of Jewish community, access to really great theater, and the Lower East Side
What moved you to become a rabbi/cantor at JTS? I was interested in attending JTS as an MA/PhD student in 2007, but neither my Hebrew nor my textual background were advanced enough. I spent the next few years in Drisha's Arts Fellowship developing my skills and cultivating what would become my focus: creating provocative Jewish theater. When I considered the graduate program at JTS again in 2010, I found out that Professor Visotzky had mentored two personal heroes of mine while they were here: Rabbi Jill Hammer (author of Sisters at Sinai) and singer/songwriter Alicia Jo Rabins (Girls in Trouble). So it became clear to me: if I wanted to make deep and compelling Jewish art in the most intellectually rigorous environment, and if I believed that this kind of work was my religious purpose and obligation, then I had to be a rabbinical student at JTS.
When is Torah most alive for you in your JTS experience? When I'm learning from and collaborating with JTS's passionate and creative teachers, including Professor Visotzky, Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky, Dr. Marjorie Lehman, Rabbi David Hoffman, and Cantor Gerald Cohen. These are people who are propelled and enlivened by our tradition, and I feel more charged and alive in their presence.