Rabbi & Sociologist
Rabbi Sandra Lawson received ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in June 2018. She was born in St. Louis, Mo. and grew up in a military family. She graduated from Saint Leo University magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Clark Atlanta University. Rabbi Sandra has served in the United States Army, as a Military Police person with a specialty in Military Police Investigations, specializing in cases involving child abuse and domestic violence. Read More >
My Story of Becoming Jewish
Sandra Lawson grew up in a non-religious home, in a military family. While in college she joined the United States army and in 2004 converted to Judaism. Then in 2011 she became the first African-American, accepted into the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
Sandra Lawson sees her multiple identities as an asset and uses her identities as a bridge builder. Her 21st century rabbinate takes her from nursing homes, to cafes, to the world of social media where she uses the aspects of her identity to connect with others.
Jews want to engage in Jewish life and want to be part of a Jewish community. For many Jews the current model of the synagogue does not work and it is time to create innovative ways to connect to Jews. And to create different models of what it means to be a rabbi in the 21st century. Through technology, music and prayer Sandra is using her rabbinic training to meet Jews where they are in their lives and she is creating sacred spaces outside the boundaries of synagogues.
"It went really well, thank you! Rabbi Lawson spoke beautifully during our event. She has a gift for putting participants at ease and having them feel embraced with her warmth. She was able to navigate difficult and nuanced topics with her knowledge and sharing of personal experiences. She is caring, dynamic and genuine and we are so grateful we had the opportunity to have her speak and share with us. Her team at ABP is efficient, thorough, and easy to work with. I would highly recommend Rabbi Lawson as a speaker and looking forward to working with APB for our future speaker needs."
"Rabbi Sandra was terrific and the event was a success from our standpoint."
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