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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), investigates what it means to be human according to the Talmud. In her current book project, she argues for drawing on Rabbinic literature—the Talmud in particular—as a model for contemporary ethical deliberation.

Rabbi Wasserman is Rabbi Emerita of Congregation Beth Shalom in Bloomington, IN, where she served for over a decade. As rabbi, she facilitated three lay-led minyanim and initiated a full-day Jewish preschool and kindergarten. She also published a children’s book, Too Much of a Good Thing (Kar Ben, 2003), based on Talmudic stories that she shared with her youngest congregants.

Rabbi Wasserman’s 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.


Does The Torah Require Us To Publicize Names Of Sexual Abusers?

What does Judaism teach us about how to respond to accusations of harassment or assault?


When Will We Ever Learn?

Why do we persist in turning our backs on the very wisdom that will sustain our lives? Rabbi Mira Wasserman reflects on the message of Parashat Ha’azinu: how our individual decisions reverberate, with long-reaching consequences.

D'var Torah