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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, Tresa Grauer (she/her) heads the team that provides programs and services in partnership with affiliated congregations and havurot across the movement. This work includes consulting with boards to help their communities flourish; creating and sharing resources; and convening and connecting Reconstructionists on land and online (e.g., through virtual networks, joint lay-rabbinic commissions, and the movement-wide convention).  

As a consultant, facilitator, and teacher, Tresa has spent 30+ years exploring and supporting Jewish identities and stories, and building community. For more than a decade, she taught Jewish American literature as well as feminist and cultural studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She also taught in the Women’s Studies and American Studies programs at Temple University, in the departments of English, Judaic Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, and in the rabbinical program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. A trained Resetting the Table facilitator, Tresa also helps individuals and groups nationwide to have meaningful conversation across lines of charged differences. 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.

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The Reconstructionist Network