Director of Racial Diversity Equity & Inclusion for Reconstructing Judaism
Rabbi Sandra Lawson (she/her) works with senior staff, lay leaders, clergy, rabbinical students, and Reconstructionist communities to help Reconstructing Judaism realize its deeply held aspiration of becoming an anti-racist organization and movement. In her role, Lawson is developing a series of anti-racist policies and trainings for the organization and its affiliate members. She also serves as a mentor to rabbinical students. Read More >
My Story of Becoming Jewish
Black, Jewish & Queer: Navigating Judaism with Multiple Identities
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.
"I wanted to reach out to say how much everyone enjoyed Rabbi Lawson’s talk and how engaging the program was. Thank you for all your help with the coordination!"
"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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