Contributors (A→Z)

J.R.R. Tolkien (translation)
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE FRSL (/ˈtɒlkiːn/;[a] 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, from 1945 to 1959. He was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. Tolkien also translated the Book of Jonah for the Jerusalem Bible, which was published in 1966.
Mark X. Jacobs
Mark X. Jacobs was the Founding Executive Director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL, from 1994 to 2003). Under his leadership, COEJL grew from a short-term project of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment into a permanent coalition of 29 national Jewish agencies with affiliated institutions across North America. Mark X. Jacobs currently serves as a Senior Mediator and Program Manager at the Meridian Institute, where he designs and facilitates collaborative processes that help diverse parties identify critical issues, build relationships and trust, construct innovative solutions, and implement durable decisions. Mark is currently focused on multistakeholder efforts to address challenges at the intersection of agriculture, environment, and public policy.
Abby Jacobson
Rabbi Abby Jacobson serves the community of Emmanuel Synagogue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Marisa Elana James
Rabbi Marisa Elana James is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and a long-time member of the CBST community. Before rabbinical school, Marisa was a college English teacher, competitive ballroom dancer, insurance broker, student pilot, bookstore manager, and professional Torah reader. As a teenager growing up in Connecticut, she was a co-founder of her high school’s GSA, the second to be founded in the state. While living in Jerusalem for more than five years, Marisa worked for Encounter Programs, taught Introduction to Judaism classes in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, studied at a wide variety of schools (including Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, secular, and non-Jewish settings), and helped create and lead the rabbinical student program for T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, where she most recently worked. Marisa has also taught English at the University of Connecticut and Rutgers, and acted as cantor for communities in Israel and America.
Marcus Jastrow
Marcus Jastrow (June 5, 1829, Rogoźno – October 13, 1903) was a Polish-born American Talmudic scholar, most famously known for his authorship of the popular and comprehensive A Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Babli, Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature. He was also a progressive, early reformist rabbi in America. Along with Benjamin Szold and Frederick de Sola Mendes, Marcus Jastrow was characterized by Jewish historian Jacob Rader Marcus as being on the right-wing of early American Reform. His translation of Rabbi Benjamin Szold's prayerbook into English offered a more traditional alternative to the Minhag America prayerbook of Isaac M. Wise. He opposed the 1885 Pittsburgh Platform, but consented for an organ to be installed in his Rodeph Shalom synagogue in Philadelphia.
Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation
Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan saw no need to start a separate movement to achieve his goal of creating a unified American Judaism without denominational factionalism. However, his followers believed that, if Kaplan’s visions were to be realized, a separate movement was needed. Therefore, in 1940, the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation was established to support the works that promoted the Reconstructionist program.
Yaakov Yosef Joseph
Jacob Joseph (יעקב יוסף‎ 1840 –July 28, 1902) served as chief rabbi of New York City's Association of American Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, a federation of Eastern European Jewish synagogues. Born in Krozhe, a province of Kovno, he studied in the Nevyozer Kloiz under Rabbi Yisrael Salanter and in the Volozhin yeshiva under the Netziv. In Volozhin, he was known as "Rav Yaakov Charif" (Rabbi Jacob Sharp) because of his sharp mind. He became successively rabbi of Vilon in 1868, Yurburg in 1870, Zhagory and then Kovno. His fame as a preacher spread, so that in 1883 the community of Vilna selected him as its maggid. In the 1880s, the mainly Orthodox and Eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish community of New York wanted to be united under a common religious authority and founded the Association of American Orthodox Hebrew Congregations—comprising 18 congregations and headed by Beth Hamedrash Hagadol. They sent a circular offering the post throughout Eastern Europe. Rabbi Jacob Joseph was among those offered the position and, in 1888, accepted it. The Association attempted to create one central rabbinic authority in America. Without the support of other factions of the Jewish community and hostility from anti-religious groups, their idea ultimately failed. Although Joseph fought a losing battle in the kosher meat and poultry industry, he managed to achieve some notable accomplishments, including the hiring of qualified shochtim, introducing irremovable seals ("plumba") to identify kosher birds, and setting up Mashgichim to oversee slaughter houses. He also took an active role in establishing the Etz Chaim Yeshiva—the first yeshiva on the Lower East Side, which was founded in 1886. (adapted from the article, "Jacob Joseph" on wikipedia.)

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