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Religion and Identity in Young America
31 March 2019




Mara benjamin

Benjamin is Irene Kaplan Leiwant Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Mount Holyoke College. She is the author of Rosenzweig’s Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity (Cambridge, 2009) and The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought (Indiana, 2018).  She holds a Ph.D. in modern Jewish thought from Stanford University and has taught at the University of Washington, Yale University, and St. Olaf College.


asad Dandia

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Dandia has been involved in New York's Muslim community for as long as he can remember. As a CUNY undergraduate, he co-founded a non-profit called 'Muslims Giving Back,' with the aim of providing necessary foodstuffs to undocumented and underprivileged families in his local community. After transferring to NYU for a BS in Social Work, Dandia worked with the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding as a Conflict Resolution intern and with Make the Road New York as a Youth Community Organizing intern. He also served as a plaintiff in the Raza v. City of NY lawsuit, challenging the NYPD's discriminatory surveillance of Muslim communities, which helped bring about historic policy change in the city. After graduating, he worked with Muslim Community Network and Cordoba House, both of which are nonprofits aiming to serve and advance the Muslim community through a variety of means, including teaching, writing, mentoring, and dialogue. Dandia is still part-time with Cordoba House, and is now a full time graduate student at Columbia University, focusing on Islamic Studies. To that end, he's become proficient in Arabic, Urdu, Persian, and Hebrew, and hopes to study Turkish soon


Kameelah Mu'Min Rashad

Mu'Min Rashad is the Founder and President of Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing mental health stigma and promoting healing and well-being in the American Muslim community through dialogue, education and training. Kameelah also serves as the Fellow for Spirituality, Wellness and Social Justice at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and advisor to Penn Sapelo, the first Black Muslim student organization on campus. She served three years as the Muslim Chaplain at UPenn and continues to facilitate discussions on religious identity development and challenges faced by American Muslim youth.

Mu'Min Rashad graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Psychology and MEd in Psychological Services. She has obtained further graduate education, completing a second Masters in Restorative Practices & Youth Counseling (MRP) from the International Institute for Restorative Practices. She is pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA