rebecca is a teaching artist and Program Coordinator with Literature for All of Us, a Chicago-area literary arts nonprofit. She has been active in the nonprofit community for twelve years and a facilitator of reflective dialogues/trainer of other facilitators for over seven years, pursuing her passion for social justice. rebecca is a poet and facilitator, committed to bringing people together through language and listening deeply.
Jasmin is an alum of the Ask Big Questions fellowship, and is currently a graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Masters of Social Work program in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Jasmin is currently engaged in research exploring social work education, and is completing her Addictions Certificate. She values bringing an intersectional feminist lens to her work. Jasmin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
In 2005, when he was Campus Rabbi at Northwestern University Hillel, Josh founded Ask Big Questions along with students Allie Gross and Lexie Komisar. In 2011, Ask Big Questions became a national initiative of Hillel, and Josh became its Educational Director, working with Sheila Katz to launch and scale the program. Since that time, he has guided the development of our educational theory, approach to training, educational resources, and overall strategy. A leading thinker and writer in both the Jewish and higher education communities, Josh holds a PhD from Northwestern in Religious Studies, as well as ordination from YCT Rabbinical School, and a BA from Yale University in music (he played the tuba and conducted an orchestra). Josh is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and currently serves as the co-chair of the Wexner Fellowship Alumni Committee. He lives in Skokie, IL with his wife Natalie Blitt and sons Jonah, Micah and Toby.
Josh can be reached at Josh@askbigquestions.org.
Matthew comes to Ask Big Questions from being the Executive Director of Kids4Peace Boston, which facilitates 12-18 year olds and their parents in the forming of meaningful relationships across lines of conflict and societies’ divides. Matthew has worked in the field of Experiential Education for nearly ten years. He enjoys connecting with those who value vulnerability over bravado and desire to make the world a kinder place. Matthew received a BS in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. When not with Ask Big Questions, you can usually find him running, dancing, or day-dreaming.
Pablo is a data research analyst with a background in the social sciences, and work in various fields including construction, museum, education, and digital humanities. Pablo’s interests center on charting transformations in the human condition. He is currently pursuing a PhD in the Department of History at the University of Chicago. He holds a Masters Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago as well as a MA and BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with emphases in History and Ethnic Studies.
Pablo can be reached at Pablo@askbigquestions.org
Danya Ruttenberg has served as Senior Jewish Educator at Tufts Hillel and Campus Rabbi at Northwestern Hillel. She is the author of Surprised By God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion (nominated for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature) and editor of The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism, Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism and three other books on Jewish ethics. Her next book, on parenting as a spiritual practice, is due from Flatiron Books in April, 2016. She has been named one of ten “rabbis to watch” by Newsweek and The Daily Beast and one of the top fifty women rabbis by the Forward.
Karen Shimmin comes to Ask Big Questions after 5 years of managing operations in the private sector. Karen is a graduate of Northwestern University and is pleased to bring her for-profit experience to a non-profit organization. Outside of her work at Ask Big Questions, Karen is a writer, performer, and podcaster.
Rebecca is a theater artist and facilitator. With a background in performance, experiential education, and design thinking she has worked with museums, college students, educators, hospitality providers, religious institutions and community organizers as a facilitator and designer. Outside of her work at Ask Big Questions, Rebecca is a lead designer and facilitator for her art and design start-up, The Dilettantes, LLC which creates immersive, interactive experiences for audiences and builds engagement tools for a variety of non profits and humanities based organizations. She previously worked as the Associate Producer of Chicago-based physical theater company 500 Clown where she jointly held the position of Interpreter-in-Residence at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art. Rebecca is a graduate of Northwestern University and the professional Leadership Leadership Program at Steppenwolf Theater Company.
Rebecca can be reached at Rebecca@askbigquestions.org.
Thomas is an independent trainer and facilitator, working with other facilitators, leading discussions, and assisting individuals and organizations in integrating reflective practices into their work. He has worked in the nonprofit sector throughout the Chicago area since 2009, bringing together academic, business, and nonprofit organizations to confront issues related to poverty, diversity, education, and community development.