Vanessa Ochs

Rabbi Vanessa Ochs, Ph.D, is professor emeritus of religious studies at the University of Virginia and the Rabbi Sally Preisand Visiting Professor for '23-'24 year in the rabbinical schools of HUC-JIR.

Articles by Vanessa Ochs

Find a Rabbi

Jewish weddings don't require a rabbi. But here's why it's a good idea anyway.

Parashat Behar: Advance Planning

Having some logistics in place can alleviate some of the anxiety surrounding a loved one's death.

Parashat Achrei Mot: Space to Grieve

Aaron's silence after the death of his sons confirms what we know: Death should not be explained away.

Rituals of Return

My return to sacred space.

Shouting at the Television

What if the central narrative of the Jewish people had been different?

Hallel In a Minor Key

How does one recite these joyful psalms at a moment of peril?

Parashat Behar-Bechukotai: God In Our Grief

Where is God when we are grieving after the bad things happen?

Parashat Achrei Mot-Kedoshim: Space to Grieve

This week’s Torah reading is a double portion composed of Achrei Mot (“After the Death” ) and Kedoshim (“Holiness”). The ...

Parashat Tzav: The Virtues of Thanksgiving

If you have had a loved one who died while in hospice care, you may have received the same little ...

Jewish Feminist Ritual

What makes ceremonies specifically for women unique?