I am a public scholar and interreligious leader with a keen interest in understanding the nature of similarities and differences––especially religious and cultural. The Talking with God Project is currently my main focus, and I am actively expanding its reach through workshops, articles, panels, talks and have a podcast in development. Additionally, interfaith engagement in the community continues. Besides actively participating in a local Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom® chapter, I am assisting my synagogue in its new membership of GBIO, the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization.
Raised in the Boston area, I have lived in Seattle, WA and Berlin, Germany, before returning to Boston in 2017. Carving out a varied educational and professional path, I hold a B.A. in Fine Art from Oberlin College (1984), an M.B.A. from Northeastern University (1997), a Certificate in Coaching from the International Coach Academy (2015), and a Master of Jewish Liberal Studies (MJLS) from Hebrew College with a focus on Global Interreligious Studies (2019). Professionally, I have worked as a business manager, an art dealer and founder of Solomon Fine Art gallery, language trainer, text editor, business coach and now public scholar.
My Conservative Jewish practice and wide range of personal and professional experiences inform my research and life.
"Jewish text and tradition is the 'technology' we use to make the world a better place" says Rabbi David Levin-Kruss, director of Jewish Education for JDC-Europe. David hopes to infuse community programs with rich and innovative Jewish content by supporting European Jews in finding their own Jewish voice. Prior to joining JDC, Levin-Kruss taught and directed special programs at Jerusalem's Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, served as the Overseas Director of the Melitz Centers, and was the Community Director and Family Educator of Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue in London.
David is also the founder of My Open Book, a methodology that uses Jewish and general texts combined with life-coaching techniques to achieve personal breakthroughs. Levin-Kruss holds a B.A. and Teachers’ Certification in English Literature and Jewish Thought from Hebrew University. He also served in the IDF's Spokesperson's Unit, and received rabbinic ordination from the Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary.
David lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.
Nora Zaki Mantas
Nora grew up with an Arab Muslim father and an American mother who had converted to Islam. Thus, she was exposed to an interfaith extended family of Muslims and Christians. Her parents were actively involved in interfaith groups and Nora has early memories of visiting different houses of worship. This inspired her love of religious diversity and her commitment to ensuring that religious and spiritual needs of people are met.
Nora is the University Chaplain for Interfaith Relationships at Dominican University. In addition to her past experience as the Muslim chaplain at Vassar and Bard Colleges, she has worked with several non-profit organizations including the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, Rural Women's Health Project and United Voices for America.
Nora received a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from the University of Chicago and holds a BA from the University of Florida in Arabic, Religion and Political Science. She is currently pursuing a second Master's degree, this time in Islamic Education from Bayan Graduate School – part of Chicago Theological Seminary. Nora is also the founder of MyMuslimChaplain, which offers extensive chaplaincy workshops, services and other consultation.
She has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and is fluent in Arabic. She is currently learning Turkish, loves watching foreign films and discovering global cuisine.
Saba Siddiqui is an observant Sunni Muslim and has been an active member of her local Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom® chapter. Originally from Pakistan, she immigrated to the US in 1989 when she was 18 years old. In the years since, she helped found a Sunday school at the local Islamic Center and is now part of the administration.
She lives in New Jersey with her family.
Born in Bangalore, India and raised by a single parent who was an artist of Sufi Muslim faith, Anberin was given the freedom to travel and study by her mother who believed that if one is seeking the truth they will find it, a characteristic of a Sufi understanding of faith which was always a conversation in her home. There were never any imperatives.
An insatiable curiosity, a love for a deeper understanding of God, a background in documentary filmmaking, theology, and the humanities are the guideposts in her journey. She found faith in the Eastern Orthodox Church in Serbia while working on a project for an International humanitarian organization. Discovering the life of St. Maria of Paris in Serbia led to her next film project, and she came to Boston to pursue her studies in Orthodox Christian Theology and work on the film.
“Love to the End”, the documentary film, rediscovers the legacy of St. Maria of Paris, and premiered in 2018. https://www.hchc.edu/holy-cross-student-produces-love-to-the-end-documentary-film/ She is currently working on a film project on Psalm 103, “Heaven & Earth”, a meditation on the relationship between faith and science.
Anberin lives in Boston with her husband and son.
Allyson Hilliard is an OB/GYN in the Washington DC area. Born and raised in Fredericksburg, VA, Allyson has always been an active member of her community and has dedicated much of her life to serving others. Since completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia and her medical degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Allyson has worked tirelessly to provide compassionate care to her patients and make a positive impact in her community.
In addition to her medical career, Allyson is also the co-founder of Be Bougie, an online boutique that sells uplifting products designed to empower women to be unapologetically themselves. She is a firm believer in the power of faith and purpose, and she strives to promote these values through all of her endeavors.
Allyson has been a devout Christian since childhood while being raised in a Baptist church. She now serves as an ordained deacon at her local church. Her faith is the foundation of all that she does, and she is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and insight with others. She is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and is committed to serving her community in any way she can.
She lives in the Washington, DC area.