Two members of our HUC-JIR community have been named as NewGround Fellows this year. Debbie Tehrani, Assistant Director of Development, Western Region, and Jaclyn Fromer, fourth-year rabbinical student, have been chosen to participate in this unique program, which brings together young Muslim and Jewish professionals in order to build skills, relationships and the networks necessary to transform how the two groups relate to each other in the United States.
Woodrow Wilson once said, “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.” This is Debbie Tehrani’s life ambition. She has a B.A. in International Studies, focused on the Middle East and Economic Development. During college, she spent a year studying in Jerusalem learning about the conflict and promoting communication. Following graduation, she became an intern at the Indiana Statehouse, immersed in the real-time political process. In 2006, she moved to California where she earned graduate degrees in Jewish Nonprofit Management and Public Administration.
Jaclyn Fromer was born and raised in Los Angeles. After receiving her BA in Religious Studies and Music from UC Davis, she moved to Berkeley to work for various Bay Area synagogues and non-profit organizations. In 2008, she began her rabbinical studies in Jerusalem and is currently in her fifth year at HUC-JIRt, planning to be ordained a rabbi in May 2014. Jaclyn received her Masters in Jewish Education from HUC-JIR in 2012. Her culminating thesis was a year long curriculum on interfaith learning for tenth graders. She is currently serving as the rabbinic intern of Kehillat Israel, a Reconstructionist congregation in the Pacific Palisades. Jaclyn is the recipient of the Jay Geller and Lowell Gallagher Scholarship for the 2013 NewGround Young Professionals' Fellowship.
NewGround began in 2006 as a response to the climate of tension and mistrust between Jews and Muslims in Los Angeles. But more importantly, NewGround was founded to create a national model for healthy relations, productive engagement and social change between American Muslims and Jews. HUC-JIR alumna Rabbi Sarah Bassin is Executive Director of NewGround.
Learn more about the Fellows.