Thank You, Teachers!
My School (2004-07)
Richard S Dinner Center for Jewish Studies, Graduate Theological Union
My Yeshiva (2006-07)
Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies
Naomi Sheindel Seidman
Naomi is my thesis chair, and the teacher with whom I've studied the most. I owe her a debt I can never repay. Here's her faculty website from the GTU. What I learned about both Medieval and Modern Jewish Thought was filtered through Naomi's mind. If I may be said to think Jewishly, it is through a Naomi Seidman lens.
Here's his website. Below is a videorecording of a class he taught as guest faculty. I'm so glad I got it on tape, because he's lecturing about Chassidus in the transylvanian part of Hungary -- the part of the world my grandfather came from. If you play it through to the end, there's an incredible Hungarian Chassidic song. The faculty members teaching the class were Naomi Sheindel Seidman and Rabbi Lawrence Kushner.
David was adjunct faculty at Pardes, so I couldn't find a picture of him online. He taught me Hebrew grammar. I have studied Hebrew Grammar before (a couple times, in fact) so I know from Grammar teachers. In fact, I have had three (OK, four) really EXCELLENT Hebrew grammar teachers, and I haven't mastered Hebrew grammar yet. This is through NO FAULT of my teachers. Anyway, David was an AMAZING Hebrew wonk, and I adored him.
Rabbi David Levin-Kruss
David taught me Modern Jewish Thought as well as Mishnah, which is my favorite subject (at least for the moment) in all of Jewish Literature. I was very happy to study with him again late this spring (2007) at the Mission Minyan in San Francisco.
Rabbi Dov Laimon
Rabbi Dov taught me scribal arts in a course that combined the halacha of the letterforms, calligraphy, and mystical insights about Hebrew letters. It was an amazing course. Because of this class, I was able to inscribe "zachar unkevah bara otam" (male and female he created them) for the banner of this website. It was my final project.
Tovah Leah Nachmani
Tovah Leah taught me Chumash at Pardes. She is an amazing teacher.
Rabbi Benay Lappe
Lifesaving Talmud. QUEER TALMUD. She's Rosh Yeshiva at SVARA.
Rabbi Lawrence Kushner
An interview, just to get the flavor. I learned about Hassidism with him.
Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert
Her book Menstrual Purity started me on the road to feminist Talmud reading methods, especially, reading a text written by men "against the grain" to recognize the influence of silenced women's voices; a kind of "ghost in the machine". While I was in Israel she taught a class at the GTU on Gender in Talmud. I was able to sit in on ONE class when I returned home. AWESOME. She's on the faculty at Stanford.
Tsvi tried to teach me Halacha. He was an exceptionally patient man. I learned to both revere and enjoy the Mishnah Berurah.
Maggid Jhos Singer
I came to Berkeley four years ago and one of the first people I saw on the bimah was transgender. I knew I was home. Here's a link to the community he serves now in Half Moon Bay.
Rabbi Jane Litman
Education Rabbi of Congregation Beth El, Berkeley. S/he said I didn't have to be afraid to be who I am, Jewishly.
With Michael I studied Prophets. Until this class, I had never read through the prophets, much less looked at the evolution of literary themes. I love the great minds that wrote these books.