Vanessa Ochs teaches Judaism and Anthropology of Religion in the Departmentof Religious Studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Sheis a Senior Associate at CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning andLeadership in New York City.

She is the author of "Words on Fire: One Woman's Journey into the Sacred"(Westview) and "Safe and Sound" (Penguin) and has written for newspapers andmagazines, including the N.Y. Times, N.Y. Newsday, N.Y. Daily News, Tikkun,Moment, Lilith, Crosscurrents, and the Forward. For her writing, she was awarded aNational Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing.

Ochs earned her BA in Drama and French from Tufts University, an MFA inTheater from Sarah Lawrence College, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology of Religionat Drew University.