Thanks for stopping by! My name is Heather, and this is my website and blog. You can read about me here, or jump to any of the links above to check out my blog, projects, other places to find my writing, and my contact information. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you have a wonderful day.
I am a Hillel professional, a rabbinical student at ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and the Assistant Director for Milton Marks Neuro-Oncology Family Camp. I am a passionate prayer leader, pastoral counselor, ritual designer, spiritual guide, and writer.
I have over 13 years of experience in Hillel, Jewish life, and in service work. I currently work at Illini Hillel, and I previously worked as Springboard Assistant Director for Hillel International, and as an engagement and program professional for Santa Cruz Hillel and Hillel at Stanford. I love empowering others to define and create their own Judaism, and the meaningful conversations shared over coffee with students and colleagues are my favorite part of campus work.
I volunteer year-round as the Assistant Director for Milton Marks Neuro-Oncology Family Camp, a camp for families coping with a parent’s brain tumor. I also volunteer as a camp counselor for Camp Erin, a children’s grief camp. These camps are spaces where children and staff are uniquely empowered to face challenges and learn from them, to reflect on who they are and who they want to be, and to make a lasting impact through the relationships they form along the way. You can read about some of what I’ve learned from Milton Marks Family Camp in my HuffPost article on finding meaning in the temporary.
In addition to camps, I also have extensive experience facilitating grief groups for children and emerging adults coping with significant loss. One of my life’s missions is to chip away at isolation – to ensure that no one has to face loss, long-term illness, life transitions, or any other challenge alone.
I love designing and officiating rituals for occasions and transitions. I have experience officiating weddings (Jewish, secular, and interfaith), baby namings, and memorial services. I also design custom rituals for both virtual and in-person experiences. You can read more about these on my Prayer Leadership, Ritual Design, and Spiritual Guidance page. If you would like to book me to design or officiate a ritual, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am also passionate about writing and storytelling, and got my start writing professionally for the Good Times, a local weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, California, in 2005. These days, you can find my original liturgy, rituals, and writing on RitualWell and HuffPost in addition to this blog, and I have performed my works on stage and live radio.