Devin Samuels (he/him) – Scholar in Residence
Devin Samuels is a poet educator who has been performing on local and national stages for the last 10 years. With a strong investment in community, Devin Samuels has spent years cultivating youth arts spaces throughout New England. In Detroit, Devin Samuels worked with Inside Out Literary Arts Project supplying poetry programming to youth throughout the city. His pedagogy utilizes poetics to grow critical thinking, self-reflection, and empathy within students. Devin is a 2017 Poetry Foundation Incubator Fellow and his work can be found in City & Sea Poetry Anthology, Slag Review, Wayne Literary Review 2018 and Systematic Crises of Global Climate Change: Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender.
Olivia Devorah Tucker (they/them) – Program Coordinator
Olivia fell in love with Talmud when the local Moishe House asked them to lead a Unicorn themed Shabbat. They couldn’t resist the deep dive into Judaism’s supernatural creatures and have never resurfaced – the books on Jewish myth, magic, and mysticism never make it back to the bookshelf! Olivia sees recovering our ancestral knowledge of angels, demons, dreams interpretation, and the many witchy practices peppered throughout the Talmud, both as exciting gateways to ancient texts and powerful lenses for viewing and healing the world in unconventional ways.
A lifelong Pittsburgher (Shawnee land), they take part in vibrant theatre and leftist Jewish organizing, play tabletop role-playing games, collect queer sci-fi comic books, and bake challah inspired by the weekly Torah portion (“All Challahs Are Beautiful”). They always have their eye out for a machmir Bechdel-Wallace Test pass, especially when it comes to Talmud. Olivia puts trans in translation and the femme in ephemera. Stay hydrated!