Vanessa Ochs teaches Judaism and Anthropology of Religion in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She is a Senior Associate at CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership 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 and magazines, 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 a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing.

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

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