Kohenet D’vorah J. Grenn, Ph.D., Chair of the former Women's Spirituality MA program at Sofia University in Palo Alto (originally the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology), founded The Lilith Institute in 1997, producing San Francisco Bay Area women's spirituality/study circles, public and private rituals and several lecture series. She is the founding kohenet of Mishkan Shekhinah, a movable sanctuary honoring the Sacred Feminine in all spiritual traditions. D’vorah has been teaching at Napa Valley College and with LevLearning.com, as well as leading private classes and serving as a spiritual life coach and mentor to women. She worked to support domestic violence survivors with Shalom Bayit and now Napa Emergency Women’s Services, and was on the Founding Advisory Board of the Kohenet Priestess Training Institute.
Dr. Grenn’s dissertation, “For She Is A Tree of Life: Shared Roots Connecting Women to Deity” was an inquiry into Jewish women’s religious/cultural identities, beliefs and ritual practices among the South African Lemba and United States women. In 2009 she published Talking To Goddess, an anthology of sacred writings of 72 women from 25 spiritual traditions, including blessings, prayer-poems, oriki, meditations, and invocations. Her essay, "The Kohanot: Keepers of the Flame" appears in Stepping into Ourselves: An Anthology of Writing on Priestesses (2014). Other writings include her book Lilith's Fire (2000), and articles in She is Everywhere, Vols. 1 and 2; and the journals Feminist Theology and Women in Judaism.
Her research includes ongoing explorations of the role of the ancient and contemporary priestess; women's contemporary ritual practices; ancestor reverence; midrash as a liberating literary genre, and Lilith as an archetype representing both positive and negative aspects of women’s psycho-spiritual journeys.
Rabbi Debra Smith, Faculty, ALEPH Tikshoret Connections, received smicha through the ALEPH Ordination Program (2016) and is founding rabbi of Congregation Or Ha Lev in NJ. Reb Deb is a long time and very enthusiastic student and practitioner of Mussar and has taught Mussar in various venues. Reb Deb, a clinical social worker and family therapist, also received her Master’s in Jewish Studies from Gratz College in Philadelphia. She serves as Rabbi in Residence at Drew University Methodist Theological School in NJ, co-chairs a chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam-Shalom and teaches a course on Ethical Issues in Spiritual Leadership for students in the AOP. She is a member of the OHALAH Ethics Committee.