Rabbi Jill Hammer, PhD

Co-Founder and Rav Kohenet 

Jill Hammer (Yeilah) is an author, educator, midrashist and ritualist.  She is the co-founder of the Kohenet Institute, and the Director of Spiritual Education at the Academy for Jewish Religion.  Rabbi Hammer is the author of Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women, The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons, The Omer Calendar of Biblical Women, The Garden of Time and the co-author of The Hebrew Priestess: Ancient and New Visions of Jewish Women's Spiritual Leadership and Siddur HaKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook.  She holds a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Connecticut and received rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary.  She lives in Manhattan with her wife and daughter.



Co-Founder and Rav Kohenet 

Taya Shere (Taya Mâ) plays passionately in the realms of transformative ritual and embodied vocalization. Taya is co-founder and co-direct of the Kohenet Institute.  Her chant albums Wild Earth Shebrew, Halleluyah All Night, Torah Tantrikaand This Bliss have been heralded as "cutting-edge mystic medicine music."  She is co-author of The Hebrew Priestess: Ancient and New Visions of Jewish Women's Spiritual Leadership and SIddur HaKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook.  Trained in the folklore of religion at the University of Pennsylvania and as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, she is Spiritual Leader Emeritus of a Washington D.C. area Jewish congregation.  Taya co-leads Makam Shekhina, a multi-religious Jewish/Sufi spiritual community, teaches at Starr-King School for the Ministry and mentors emergent spiritual leaders in embodied presence and counter-oppressive devotion.  She makes home, music and other magic in the California East Bay.



faculty and Rav Kohenet

Shoshana Jedwab (Batshemesh) is the Jewish Life Coordinator at the A.J. Heschel Middle School in NYC.  She is the founding facilitator of the Makom Drum Circle at the JCC in Manhattan and is a percussionist and performance artist who has trained in bibliodrama and psychodrama.  Shoshana has performed with Storahtelling, Chana Rothman, Debbie Friedman, Kirtan Rabbi Andrew Hahn and Tel Shemesh seasonal events, and is a ritual percussionist and singer at Congregation Romemu in New York, NY.  She is Kohenet's ritual drummer and serves on the Kohenet faculty.  Her first album is titled I Remember.


Keshira haLev Fife

Executive Director and faculty

Keshira haLev Fife sprinkles sparkles, disrupts expectations, and offers blessings wherever she goes. Lovingly called “the priestess who priestesses the priestesses”, she delights in serving, supporting, up-leveling and weaving Kohenet community. She also pours love and intention into her work as founder and community shepherdess of Kesher Pittsburgh and more broadly as a shlichat tzibbur, life spiral ceremony officiant, ritual creatrix, liturgist, songstress, public speaker and writer. Keshira was ordained as a Kohenet in 2017 and earned her BS (Social History) and MS (Public Policy and Management) at Carnegie Mellon University. A dual-citizen of the USA and Australia, she and her beloved strive for right balance between traveling and nesting at home in Pittsburgh, PA.

2017 Graduates


Aliza Schechter curates dance/movement experiences that touch the holy in the here and now. Based in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, Aliza is honored to priestess for growing and innovative Jewish communities such as Romemu and Shtiebel. Her offerings include movement classes and workshops, customized rituals, women’s circles and ecstatic dance events. As a licensed creative arts therapist, Aliza has worked extensively in geriatric care. She is the founder of Full Circle Dance, an emerging vision to infuse life cycle events with movement, ritual and celebration. www.fullcircledance.org

Anna-Sofia Maranta is a wisewoman ritualist, and spiritual leader who seeks to create sacred space grounded in the values of radical compassion, listening and hospitality. She serves as a conduit for Healing Presence at the crossroads of life. She facilitates marriage and separation rituals, rites of passage, and mourning rites; and also provides education, mentoring and support to those on a spiritual journey. Anna-Sofia lives in Ottawa, Canada. She provides services on-line and in-person. maranta.anna@gmail.com

Cara Rock-Singer is in the final months of a Ph.D. in Religion at Columbia University. Her dissertation, Prophetesses of the Body: American Jewish Women and the Politics of Embodied Knowledge, focuses on how women are using embodied spiritual practices to transform American Jewish life. As a participant and observer in Kohenet, Cara has spent the past three years researching, teaching, and writing about its innovative ritual, theological, and textual work. She is lives in Philadelphia, PA, with her husband and daughter.

Elizabeth J. Berger begins with your life story to foster unforgettable ceremonies and ritual moments. She draws from her own narrative to cultivate exhilarating workshop experiences. Elizabeth earned her Master of Science in narrative medicine at Columbia University. She has presented internationally on provider well-being and spirituality in Western medicine. Elizabeth lives on Long Island, a short distance from Manhattan. www.chaplainelizabeth.com

Hadassah Nechushta bat Yah Shekhinah, The Bronze One, is a widow who lives in Canton, Ohio. She has a BA in business management and operates a small woman-owned business as a Commercial Mortgage Broker. She teaches Torah with an emphasis on its relevance to our everyday lives and she is a healer, prayer writer, and sacred drummer. She is also the President of the East Lincoln Highway Neighborhood Association and holds a certificate in the Neighborhood Leadership Program. She has one daughter who has earned an M.D. and is working on her Pharm. D.

Janet Devorah Danforth is a social worker and chaplain, with Master's Degrees in Social Work, Religious (Jewish) Studies, and Bioethics. She is currently working in a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, NC, officiating at funerals and creating other bereavement rituals. Her heart is especially open to bikur cholim (visits) with Holocaust Survivors. jdanforth@gmail.com

Judith Maeryam Wouk is a Neviah Metophephet/Oracle of Rhythms/Re-Framer of Stories. A member of the Guild of Holy Drummers with a Certificate from the Holy Drumming Institute (Elat Chayyim, Spring 2011, Adar II 5771), she teaches beginning frame drum (tar) and riqq (tambourine) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. With degrees in anthropology and law, she is a ritual leader, and political activist for peace, environment and social justice. Women of the Bible, music of the Israelites/Hebrews, death practices, gift economy, sustainable cities, and the feminine divine are themes of her crone study, publications and advocacy.

Keshira haLev Fife is a community leader, ritual creatrix, songstress, and world traveler who sprinkles sparkles, disrupts expectations, and offers blessings wherever she goes. She is a life spiral ceremony celebrant, specializing in multifaith and multicultural weddings, and helping people to mark life's milestones in Jewish ways. She delights in co-leading Kesher Kabbalat Shabbat gatherings in her home cities of Sydney, Australia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or wherever her travels may take her. www.keshirahalev.com

Lori Ayela Wynters serves as Faculty at the Graduate Institute at Goddard College in Embodiment Studies, SUNY New Paltz, Lesley University and a visiting faculty member at Vassar College. A teacher, dancer and mother, she has a particular interest in the transformational nature of the lived experiences of women and girls who are valued and supported as they give voice to their stories. Currently in the Spiritual Direction Program at Hebrew Union College and in rabbinical study, Lori Ayela leads life cycle ceremonies, workshops and retreats, exploring the wisdom of our body's knowing, for greater freedom, connection, meaning and sweetness in our daily lives. https://www.goddard.edu/people/lori-wynters/

Orev Reena Katz is an artist, curator, radio show producer, builder of sound machines, and a Spiritual Care provider for incarcerated people in the prisons of Southern Ontario. She/they work in community, with hands and heart, to make ritual, to build connection, and to struggle with collective justice. Orev lives with her/their beloved partner and feisty cat in Toronto, Ontario, traditional territory of the Huron, Wendat and Mississauga of New Credit nations. As a Jew and a treaty person, Orev strives to honour the One Dish, One Spoon Treaty of the Great Lakes Region. www.radiodress.ca

Rachel Leah Bello supports healing for body and spirit as a board certified holistic registered nurse at the Mount Sinai Health System, as an integrative health consultant in private practice and as a mystic crafting healing rituals, sacred songs, and blessings. She offers the Jewish mystical traditions of her Yemenite and Turkish ancestors and an extensive education and training in Nursing, Holistic Medicine and Torah. Rachel Leah practices in New York City. www.RachelBello.com

Stacey-Sephirah Oshkello is the co-founder of Living Tree Alliance, a co-housing community situated on an organic farm in Vermont, that hosts earth-based Jewish enrichment programs. Stacey - Sephirah organizes festival celebrations, family holiday events, and educational programs that integrate the seasons with the Hebrew calendar and foster transformational experiences. As a Priestess and Registered Dietitian, she supports people in healthy lifestyle change that integrate body, mind, and spirit. livingtreealliance.com

Yepeth Perla / Jessica Ann Rubin lives in Dawnland Vermont known by Abenaki as Ndakinna. Here she ethically rewilds as part of a collaborative decolonizing movement. She co-creates healthy culture, where humans embody their authentic planetary citizenry. She applies her privilege to plant habitat, craft, fight pipelines, inoculate with mycelium, work in solidarity for sovereignty justice, research, mentor, and educate. Her efforts to lovingly dismantle oppressive empires are balanced in Shabbas, prayer, dance, song, Torah meditation. She is committed to nurturing community evolution with reverence, mindfulness, compassion, and ecological humility. rootsandtrails.com & mycoevolve.net