“Own Your Judaism” Conversation Series

The “Own Your Judaism” Conversation Series is a collection of conversations with Jewish community leaders and with mindful Jews who have taken it upon themselves to make Judaism meaningful and relevant to them. In these Conversations, we talk about their Jewish paths, how they have made purposeful decisions throughout their lives, and how they have Owned their Judaism.

All Conversations are Monday afternoons unless noted otherwise, and links to the watch the Conversation live or later on Facebook are made available in the days before each conversation.


Rabbi Juan Mejia, 1/11/21

Rabbi Juan Mejía was born in Bogotá, Colombia. Raised a Catholic, he converted to Judaism after discovering the powerful beauty and message of Judaism.  He holds a degree in philosophy from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and a Masters degree in Jewish Civilization from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Juan was ordained in 2009 by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York. He lives in Oklahoma City, where he serves as the Jewish Educator for Emanuel Synagogue. He also serves as Rabbi in Residence for Be’chol Lashon.
Juan is a passionate advocate for converts and making Torah available to all. He has been teaching Torah in Spanish for over a decade through his website, www.koltuvsefarad.com 

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, 1/25/21

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the President & Dean of the Valley Beit Midrash (Jewish pluralistic adult learning & leadership), the Founder & President of Uri L’Tzedek (Jewish Social Justice), the Founder and CEO of Shamayim (Jewish animal advocacy), the Founder and President of YATOM, (Jewish foster and adoption network), and the author of 18 books on Jewish ethicsNewsweek named Rav Shmuly one of the top 50 rabbis in America and the Forward named him one of the 50 most influential Jews.

Eliana Light, 3/8/21

Eliana Light envisions a joyful, vibrant, heart-centered Judaism that speaks to the soul and moves the spirit, reminding us that we all are One. She offers professional development to educators, clergy, and lay leaders to elevate and deepen their prayer gatherings, allowing them to offer more meaningful experiences to more people. These days, she creates meaningful learning, prayer, and professional development over zoom. She is also a sought-after songwriter and performer of catchy, content-rich tunes for all ages, and has put out three albums of original music. Eliana received her Master’s in Jewish Education from the Davidson school at JTS in 2016, and is based in Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. David Moss, 3/15/21

David is a physician, adventurer and social entrepreneur who has founded two nonprofits and also co-founded a Reconstructionist congregation.  
The Illumignossi Project brings light to the world through innovative light-making workshops that bring inspiration and comfort to life’s challenging passages or celebrate its important milestones. Participants create beautiful, illuminated paper lamps embodying intention and meaning, while exploring and nurturing their inner light so they can reflect and share it with the world. OrLanu, Hebrew for “Our Light”, employs similar workshops to share the light of Judaism with the world.  Its 6 Million Lights project seeks to honor the 6 Million Jewish victims of the Holocaust by putting light into the world through 6 Million “living lights”.

Rabbi Philip Ohriner, Founder and Cultivator at Ma’alot Farms


Joey Weisenberg, Founder and Director of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute


Ellie Gettinger, Education Director of Jewish Museum Milwaukee