Rabbi Vanessa M. Harper
Rabbi Vanessa M. Harper is passionate about shaping creative, joyful, and meaningful Jewish learning and living experiences for people of all ages. She currently serves as Assistant Rabbi at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, MA, and Reform Rabbi-in-Residence at Gann Academy. Rabbi Harper was ordained in 2021 by the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where she also received a Master’s in Hebrew Literature and numerous awards for academic achievement. During her training for the rabbinate, Rabbi Harper was recognized as a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar, a UJA-Federation Graduate Scholar, a Be Wise Jewish Entrepreneurial Fellow, and as one of the New York Jewish Week's “36 Under 36.” She received her undergraduate degree in English and Jewish studies, graduating magna cum laude from Williams College in 2012, and has served as a Jewish educator and curriculum writer for preschoolers through adults over the past fifteen years. In 2017, she created @lechlechallah—an Instagram-based education project using challah as an artistic medium for interpreting and teaching Torah and the Jewish calendar—which evolved into kinetic midrash classes that she taught all over the country, and then into this book. Rabbi Harper lives in Natick, MA, with her husband, Cantor Josh Rosenberg; a cantankerous cat; and stockpiles of yarn and yeast.
CCAR Press works include: