About author & editor



Author Shifrah Tobacman is a rabbi and a lifelong poet. Rabbi Shifrah was ordained in January 2015 by the Rabbinic Ordination Program of ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal. She received a Masters degree in Jewish studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in 2010, with a thesis entitled “Ancient Threads, New Weavings: Counting the Omer Then and Now.” Rabbi Shifrah is the writer, producer and performer of “Rooftop Poems,” a presentation of poetic vignettes about her travels to Israel and Palestine in 2001 and 2002. She is passionate about health and healing in body, mind and spirit for individuals, communities, and society as a whole, and these themes resonate throughout her writings. In addition to her work as a rabbi, she has worked as a massage therapist, a Feldenkrais Practitioner (movement education), a health educator, a public health professional and a chaplain. Rabbi Shifrah is a gifted life cycle officiant, a creative spiritual leader, and a teacher. She served as a Rabbinic Intern with Congregation Ner Shalom in Cotati, CA from 2011-2014, and continues to teach and lead religious services for various communities. http://www.nershalom.org/. Rabbi Shifrah lives in Emeryville, CA with Ruth Atkin, her wife and life partner of eighteen years.


Rabbi Rachel Barenblat holds an MFA in Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars and was ordained a rabbi by ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal in 2011. She is author of 70 faces (Phoenicia publishing, 2011), a collection of poems written in response to the weekly Torah portion, as well as four chapbooks of poetry. A contributing editor to Zeek magazine, she has blogged since 2003 as the Velveteen Rabbi. Her poems have appeared in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies, both online and off. She serves a small congregation in western Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and their son.