Rabbi Sandra Lawson graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in June of 2018, and is the associate chaplain for Jewish life and Hillel Jewish educator at Elon University in North Carolina. She is a thoughtful pioneer of using social media to teach Torah and was once named by JTA as one of “10 Jews you should follow on Snapchat.” She’s also been called the Snapchat Rabbi. Sandra is a sociologist, personal trainer, weightlifter, vegan, writer, public speaker and musician.
January 30th, 2020 | Season 1 | 54 mins 51 secs
Imagine you’re an African American Jew-by-choice and made the monumental decision to go to rabbinical school. A fellow synagogue board member says, “wow, you’re more Jewish than the Jews.” Throughout rabbinical school, the first thing you’re asked when you enter Jewish space is “how can you be Jewish?” or “when did you convert?” And then after starting your first job as a campus rabbi, a parent asks if you’re really ordained. In this episode, Rabbi Sandra Lawson shares her personal experiences like these. She seeks to push white Jews to face their assumptions and confront racism within themselves, racism that may not be malicious in intent but is inherited from the world around. Her hopes are for the Jewish people to live up to our highest ideals.
August 16th, 2018 | Season 0 | 42 mins 46 secs
This interview with Rabbi Sandra Lawson was meant to focus on the intersection of Judaism and technology. But no illuminating conversation completely goes as planned. Rabbi Sandra explains how it is impossible to discuss her adoption of social media and technology from questions of race, identity and sexuality. In this frank interview, Rabbi Sandra explains how fear, fear of failure, and fear of having others define her according to race and sexual-orientation, that prompted her to take the biggest risks in her life and rabbinical studies. A social media innovator, she explains how technology fits into her mission of reaching Jews in new settings: a new kind of rabbi for an evolving Jewish community.