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Tresa Grauer, Ph.D.

Vice President for Thriving Communities, Reconstructing Judaism

As a teacher and a consultant, Tresa Grauer has devoted her professional life to exploring and supporting Jewish identities, stories, and traditions.

As Vice President for Thriving Communities at Reconstructing Judaism, Grauer heads the team that provides programs and services in partnership with affiliated congregations and havurot across the movement. This work includes consulting with communities to help them flourish; creating, gathering, and sharing resources; and convening and connecting Reconstructionists on land and online (e.g., through leadership forums, the plenum, Israel trips, and the upcoming movement-wide convention). 

Grauer lived in Israel for more than a decade, teaching Jewish American literature as well as feminist and cultural studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev from 1997-2009. She also taught in the women’s studies and American studies programs at Temple University and as a visiting assistant professor in the departments of English, Judaic studies and women’s studies at the University of Michigan. In addition to her Thriving Communities work at Reconstructing Judaism, Grauer also teaches contemporary Jewish American literature and culture to rabbinical students. Her Bachelor of Arts, master’s degree and Ph.D. in English language and literature are from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

The "Next Normal" and Our Movement

The last sixteen months of the pandemic have highlighted the necessity of community as something both poignant and urgent.  With many of us physically removed from our “normal” sites of gathering (i.e., workplaces, schools, cultural venues, “third spaces,” places of worship), we’ve learned to cultivate relationships online, to use digital tools to create new places of meeting and connection, and to experiment with alternative and even more accessible forms of engagement.  Despite the very real challenges of long-term isolation and Zoom fatigue, we’ve found new ways to experience community, to address pragmatic needs, and to fill our souls.