Announcing the 5772 Dvar Tzedek Writing Fellows


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Tim Lessick

Announcing the 5772 Dvar Tzedek Writing Fellows

American Jewish World Service is delighted to announce the recipients of the AJWS Dvar Tzedek Torah Commentary: Lisa Goldberg Memorial Writers’ Fellowship for 5772. Each writer brings a unique and powerful voice to Jewish social justice. We hope they will inspire and motivate us toward a Jewish identity that embraces justice and social responsibility.

About Dvar Tzedek

Dvar Tzedek is a weekly Torah commentary highlighting global justice teachings that are deeply rooted in Torah. To read and subscribe to this publication, visit To subscribe to the weekly podcast, visit

About Lisa Goldberg

As President of the Charles S. Revson Foundation, Lisa Goldberg had a profound commitment to the Jewish community and to social justice. She was a creative and vigorous supporter of leadership development, public interest law, women and public policy and Jewish culture. Lisa died tragically at the age of 54. She was a good friend and generous supporter of AJWS. We are honored to name this writers’ fellowship, which embodies many of the values she held dear, in her memory.

5772 Fellows

Rabbi Wendi Geffen has served as one of the rabbis at North Shore Congregation Israel in suburban Chicago since 2002. She is passionate about Judaism, Torah and the way these ancient wisdom sources can add meaning to our lives and enable us to better our world still today. Dedicated to social justice and its Jewish textual roots, she regularly works to empower the synagogue and her larger community to act on the Jewish imperative to pursue tzedek. Rabbi Geffen was a participant in last year's AJWS Rabbinic Delegation to Lucknow, India, was a 2011-2012 American Jewish World Service Goldberg Writer’s Fellow and a 2012-2013 Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. Wendi can be reached at

Liel Leibovitz is a senior writer for Tablet Magazine, a daily online publication of Jewish life and culture. A native of Tel Aviv, he served as a non-commissioned officer in the Israeli army before moving to New York in 1999. Liel holds a Ph.D. in communications from Columbia University, and is an assistant professor of communications at NYU, specializing in the technological and cultural aspects of video games and digital media. He has authored four books, including, most recently, The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election (with Todd Gitlin).

Sarah Mulhern is a Program Associate in the Department of Experiential Education at AJWS. In that role, she develops educational resources including curricula, prayers, divrei Torah, and text studies; and teaches and speaks on behalf of the organization. She also manages On1Foot, the online portal for Jewish texts and social justice. Prior to joining AJWS, Sarah taught at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and in the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies’ Social Justice Track. She studied at Pardes from 2008-2010 and at Yeshivat Hadar in 2008. Sarah holds a BA from Brandeis University in History and Political Science.

Adina Roth, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, is a clinical psychologist who holds dual master’s degrees in literature. A co-founder of the Johannesburg Egalitarian Chavurah, Adina runs B’tocham Education—a bar and bat mitzvah program that prepares pre-teens for their rites of passage, and organizes Women’s Torah and Megillah readings. She has co-chaired Limmud Johannesburg for three years and has studied Bible and Talmud at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, in Jerusalem, and Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, in New York City. Adina lives in Johannesburg with her husband, daughter and son, and is interested in creating creative and diverse community spaces within the Jewish community and beyond. Adina can be reached at

Sigal Samuel is a writer and editor at the Jewish Daily Forward. Her work has also appeared in The Daily Beast, The Rumpus, BuzzFeed, Tablet, and The Walrus, among other publications. She is the author of the novel "The Mystics of Mile End," forthcoming from HarperCollins this year. Sigal can be reached at

Rabbi David Singer is Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas, Texas. A graduate of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, David is the recipient of the 2011 Whizin Prize in Jewish Ethics. A California native, he graduated with honors from University of California, Berkeley, and has spent two years living and studying in Israel, most recently at Jerusalem's Conservative Yeshiva. David can be reached at