Dr. Jody Myers is Professor of Religious Studies and Coordinator of the Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program at California State University, Northridge. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and maintains a strong connection with her large, extended family there. She received her B.A. at Brandeis University, her M.A. and Ph.D. in History at UCLA, and on-the-job training in Religious Studies when she joined CSUN’s Religious Studies Department in 1986. She has written articles and books in the area of Jewish thought, history, and religious expression. Dr. Myers' current research focuses on the Orthodox Jewish communities in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles, with particular focus on food practices. When not working, she is likely to be found gardening, cooking, on a study-trip in Poland, or dreaming about canoeing.
Ph.D., History, University of California, Los Angeles, 1985.
M.A., History, University of California, Los Angeles, 1977.
B.A., cum laude, History, Brandeis University, 1975.
RESEARCH AND TEACHING INTERESTS
Jewish culture and history, contemporary religious thought, American religious life, sustainability and nature.
Kabbalah and the Spiritual Quest: The Kabbalah Centre in America (Praeger Publishers, 2007).
Seeking Zion: Modernity and Messianic Activism in the Writings of Zevi Hirsch Kalischer (Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2003).
“Purity, Charity, Community: The Power of Kashrut in an Orthodox Jewish Neighborhood,” in Jewish Cultures and Identities:European vs. American Perspectives, Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pędich and Małgorzata Pakier, eds. (Peter Lang, in the series Warsaw Studies in Jewish History and Memory, forthcoming).
“Jewish Service-Learning Partnerships between Hillel and the Public University: A Case Study,” co-authored with Renée Cohen Goodwin, Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Vol. 87, (Winter/Spring 2012).
“Teaching Contemporary Israel through the Internet and Student Blogs” in Coping with Diversity: Language and Culture Education, eds. Hanna Komorowska and Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pędich (Academica, Warsaw, 2011).
“Kabbalah for the Gentiles: Diverse Souls and Universalism in Contemporary Kabbalah,” in Kabbalah and Spiritual Revival: Historical, Sociological and Cultural Perspectives, Boaz Huss, ed. (Ben-Gurion University Press, 2011).
“Phasing In: American Jewish Women’s Ritual Celebrations for the New Moon (Rosh Hodesh)” in Women Remaking American Judaism, Riv-Ellen Prell, ed. (Wayne State University Press, 2007).
"The Myth of Matriarchy in Contemporary Jewish Women's Spiritual Writings," Jewish Social Studies, vol. 4, no. 1 (Fall, 1997).
"The Secret of Jewish Femininity: Hiddenness, Power, and Physicality in the Theology of Orthodox Women in the Contemporary World," in Gender and Judaism: The Transformation of Tradition, ed. T.M. Rudavsky, (New York University Press, 1995). Co-authored with Jane Rachel Litman.
"Messianism and Zionist Ideologies," in Studies in Contemporary Jewry, volume VII (Oxford University Press, for the Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1991).
American Academy of Religion
American Historical Association
Association for Jewish Studies
Western Jewish Studies Association (Executive Board Member)