Torah for Our Time with Rabbi Michelle Dardashti
Join Rabbi Michelle Dardashti for the final installment of Torah for our Time, exploring how we encounter fear in a Jewish context.
This six-part series—taught by alumni of the Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellowship—brings the wisdom of our tradition to some of the deepest themes of our time.
Rabbi Michelle Dardashti (Marshall T. Meyer Fellow 2009-2011) serves as Associate University Chaplain for the Jewish Community at Brown University and Rabbi at Brown RISD Hillel. The daughter of an American folk-singer/teacher and an Iranian-born cantor, Rabbi Dardashti was raised on a brand of Judaism that is multicultural, meta-denominational, musical and global. She became a rabbi to share the gifts her parents’ eclectic Judaism afforded her: passion, hope, wonder, gratitude, empathy, responsibility and joy.
Dardashti was ordained and received an MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She came to Brown in 2013 after serving as the Marshall T. Meyer Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan and Director of Community Engagement at Temple Beth El in Stamford, CT. At Brown, Dardashti nourishes a Judaism that is broad and deep and engaged with the world. She represents Judaism at university events and multifaith programs and nurtures Jewish life at Hillel through teaching, leading (and supporting students in leading) services, and creating alternative platforms for spiritual engagement, including monthly Women’s Rosh Hodesh (New Moon) gatherings, weekly “JIM Sits” (JIM-Jewishly Inspired Meditation—a workout for the soul) and Kivun, a musical and soulful prayer experience. She has also birthed a number of initiatives that critically explore allyship, antisemitism, activism, and the American Jewish relationship to Israel. Among these are the Hillel Initiative for Racial Awareness and Justice and the Narrow Bridge Project and Fellowship; the latter were recently covered by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Rabbi Dardashti has spent time living and working in the Jewish community of Montevideo, Uruguay as well as four years in Jerusalem, where she was a student at Hebrew University, a Dorot Fellow, and a volunteer and staff member at a number of NGOs working in the realms of democracy, dialogue and cross-cultural exchange. Her writings have appeared in The Forward, Jewschool and Siddur Lev Shalem (2016), and in three recent books: One Nation, Indivisible: Seeking Liberty and Justice from the Pulpit to the Streets (2019), Chaver Up: Allyship Through A Modern Jewish Lens (2021) and Jewish Theological Grace: Drashot In Honor of Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen (2022, forthcoming). She is also a 2021 Pedagogies of Wellbeing Research Fellow through M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education.
Rabbi Dardashti is married to Nathan Sher. Together they have three children: Eden (born while Michelle was at BJ ;), Miya (born in CT), and Lavi (born in RI).