Vanessa Ochs

Vanessa Ochs is the Ida and Nathan Kolodiz Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Virginia and associate professor of Religious Studies.

Articles by Vanessa Ochs

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?

Studying New Ritual

Looking through the lens of material culture.

What Makes a Jewish Home Jewish?

They are filled with ethnic and religious objects--and everyday objects imbued with special meaning.

Touring a Jewish Home

From ritual items to artwork to the contents of a refrigerator, Judaism is evident throughout a Jewish home.