Rabbi Mira Wasserman, Ph.D. | Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rabbi Mira Beth Wasserman, Ph.D.

Director of Center for Jewish Ethics, Assistant Professor of Rabbinic Literature, RRC

Mira Beth Wasserman’s work as a rabbi and scholar bridges Talmud study, community building, and the pursuit of social justice. Her recent book, Jews, Gentiles, and other Animals: The Talmud after the Humanities (Penn Press, 2017), is an exploration of what it means to be human according to the talmud; it was awarded the Salo Baron prize for the best first book in Jewish studies published in 2017. Her current writing projects focus on how the Talmud can serve as a model for contemporary ethical deliberation. Mira is a go-to speaker on Jewish ethics and the #MeToo movement. As director of The Center for Jewish Ethics, Mira initiated a collaborative effort to deploy Jewish text study in the prevention of abuse.

Mira is Rabbi Emerita of Congregation Beth Shalom in Bloomington, Indiana, where she served for over a decade. Her doctorate in Jewish Studies is from the University of California at Berkeley, her rabbinic ordination is from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and she is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Hebrew Literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Barnard College. 

Jewish Ethics, #MeToo, and Crowd-Sourced Responsa

In 5778, the hashtags #TimesUp #MeToo #GamAni sparked a broad communal conversation about abuses of power on the part of individuals and institutions, within and beyond the Jewish community. The year brought revelations of misconduct among celebrities and government officials, and in Jewish schools, organizations, and synagogues. Now, powerful people who abuse their power are being held accountable, and this is a development that is welcome and long overdue. That doesn’t mean it is easy.

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