A New Reform Torah Translation and Commentary: Editors, Translators, and Staff

Project Editors

Elsie R. Stern, PhD

Daniel Fisher-Livne, PhD

Daniel is an Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible and the Languages of the Near East at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and the assistant general editor for CCAR’s A New Torah Translation and Commentary for the Twenty-First Century. Dr. Fisher-Livne’s teaching and research investigate the Hebrew Bible’s formation and reception as memory work, illuminating ways in which the text has functioned as a powerful “cultural archive” and “platform” for religious life. He is currently working on two research projects in biblical studies. First, he is writing a cultural biography of the Ark of the Covenant—Lost Arks: Absence and the Construction of the Biblical Past. Second, he is preparing the Judges volume for The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition, a new international text-critical project from SBL Press. He is committed to public engagement in Jewish studies, as Creative Director of HUC-JIR in the Berkshires and, recently, as co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Public Humanities Scholarship (Routledge, 2024). He is a member of the AAR Applied Religious Studies Committee and the Editorial Board of Bible Odyssey, SBL’s public-facing portal sharing the latest research on the people, places, and history of the Bible.

Project Translators

Rabbi Janet R. Marder

Janet was ordained by HUC-JIR, New York in 1979. Following ordination, she pursued graduate studies in the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA, specializing in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish. In 1983, she became the first ordained rabbi of Beth Chayim Chadashim, a Los Angeles synagogue with special outreach to the LGBTQ community. During her five years with that congregation, she co-founded NECHAMA: AIDS advocacy and education for the Jewish community. She served as a Reform Movement Regional Director until 1999, when she became Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills, CA, and its Rabbi Emerita in 2020. She was the first woman elected president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (2003–2005)

Rabbi Sheldon Marder

Sheldon was ordained by HUC-JIR, New York in 1978. He served as rabbi and director of the Department of Jewish Life at the Jewish Home of San Francisco for twenty-one years, until his retirement in 2020. Earlier in his career, he served in the administration of HUC-JIR, Los Angeles; as a congregational rabbi in Long Beach, California; and as a caseworker and group worker at social service agencies for older adults in New York City and Los Angeles. His most recent articles have included “Doorways of Hope: Adapting to Alzheimer’s”; “What Happens When We Use Poetry in Our Prayer Books—and Why?”; and “Psalms, Songs, & Stories—Midrash and Music at the Jewish Home of San Francisco.”

CCAR Staff

Rabbi Hara Person

Rabbi Hara Person is the Chief Executive of Central Conference of American Rabbis. She previously served as the Publisher of CCAR Press, oversaw the Communication Department, and worked closely with leadership on overall organizational strategy. Rabbi Person was ordained in 1998 from HUC-JIR, after graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College (1986) and receiving an MA in Fine Arts from New York University/International Center of Photography (1992).

Rabbi Person is also the co-author of Stories of Heaven and Earth: Bible Heroes in Contemporary Children’s Literature and as well as co-editor of That You May Live Long: Caring for Your Aging Parents, Caring for Yourself, and Editor of The Mitzvah of Healing. Her essays and poems have been published in various anthologies and journals, including The Women’s Haftarah Commentary.

Rafael Chaiken

Rafael Chaiken is the Director of CCAR Press. In this role, he oversees the CCAR’s book publications, journal, certificates, apps, and Visual T’filah. He was previously the editor for Jewish studies, film studies, and philosophy at the State University of New York Press. His books have been winners/finalists for the National Jewish Book Awards, Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards, Foreword Indies Book of the Year, Independent Publisher Book Awards, and Canadian Jewish Literary Awards.

Originally from Albany, Rafael is a graduate of the Hebrew Academy of the Capital District. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s from the University at Albany, both in history. His book reviews have appeared in the Journal of Electronic Publishing and Publishing Research Quarterly.

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