Educator. Community Builder. Ritualist.
A passionate Jewish educator, Sivan Rotholz has taught and led robust discussions about Torah, Jewish literature, history, and ideas in universities, synagogues, living rooms, and online classrooms across the globe. A Wexner Graduate Fellow alum, Sivan earned her Master’s in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is pursuing rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.
As the Education Director for Achayot — a cohort-builder for Jewish women writers — she serves as a resource to those seeking to explore their relationship to Judaism through accessible text study and inspired creative writing. Sivan is convinced, after more than a decade of experience, that building community builds Jewish engagement, so her focus has been on creating cohorts, forging connections, and inventing ways we can lift one another through a Jewish lens. She has studied and honed pastoral and leadership skills, seen the power of ritual, and is fully committed to illuminating what makes Jewish life meaningful, stirring, and anchoring.
Sivan has taught at Brooklyn College, Tel Aviv University, Hebrew Union College, Columbia/Barnard & Brandeis Hillels, Camp Ramah, Wexner Institutes, Moishe House, Pardes, the URJ, and Ritualwell. Her areas of expertise include adult education, creative midrash, work with b’nai mitzvah and conversion students, feminist Torah, and poetry. She always opts for discussion facilitation rather than frontal lecturing, believes in the power of hevrutah — studying in pairs or small groups — and learns most when teaching.
“Among the best-led discussions I’ve ever seen any professor give, including my years at Cornell, Yale and Stanford.”Eric Alterman, CUNY Distinguished Professor of English and Journalism
Sivan is constantly researching and tracking innovations in the North American Jewish community. As she considers how proven, historied models of synagogues and JCCs might be supplemented by new and dynamic models of Jewish community, she is inspired by organizations and movements such as Base, Moishe House, Honeymoon Israel, Pardes, One Table, and the Jewish Emergent Network, among others. Drawing on the rabbinic tradition of planting seeds for future generations, Sivan is planning to focus her rabbinate on launching an intergenerational center of Jewish life and culture. In a day and age when it is clearer than ever that “it takes a village,” she is committed to serving the Jewish people by building that communal home base.
Photo courtesy of Allegra-Bree Moreno
From birth through death, from Pesach to Purim, for every demarcation of Jewish time, Sivan draws on a deep reverence for tradition and a dedication to meeting people where they are as she works to create resonant, innovative Jewish ritual.
Sivan’s poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in My Jewish Learning, 929, Ritualwell, and elsewhere. She has been published in several anthologies, including Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves, and has helped midwife formative books on Jewish life, series for the Forward, and literary collections. Sivan holds an MFA in Creative Writing — with an emphasis on Pedagogy and Jewish Studies — from Brooklyn College and has taught poetry, creative writing, and women of biblical literature since 2011.