Alicia Jo Rabins

Girls in Trouble Curriculum, and other Feminist Jewish Art Projects |



Alicia Jo Rabins is a composer, performer, writer and Jewish educator. She tours internationally performing and teaching with Girls in Trouble, her musical midrash project, with whom she released two critically acclaimed albums of indie-folk songs about women in Torah on JDub Records. Alicia was the fiddler in Brooklyn’s pioneering klezmer-punk band, Golem; toured Central America and Kuwait as a cultural ambassador for the US State Department; and, as a Six Points Fellow, created an original rock opera, A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, which has appeared in four states. Alicia’s poems appear in top literary magazines, and she is a staff writer for Kveller, where she writes a weekly parsha commentary through the eyes of a new mom.

A passionate Jewish educator with 15 years experience specializing in feminist approaches to Torah and arts-integrated Jewish study, Alicia currently holds a Covenant Signature Grant to create The Complicated Lives of Biblical Women, a curriculum about women in Torah through text and art. She has a Masters in Jewish Women’s Studies from JTS, an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College, and a BA in English (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Barnard. Alicia lives in Portland, OR with her husband and two young children.

Girls in Trouble Curriculum, and other Feminist Jewish Art Projects

The Girls in Trouble Curriculum: The Complicated Lives of Biblical Women reflects the fascinating and complex stories of women in Torah as a foundational part of Jewish tradition, and deepens awareness of their often under-studied stories, through a curriculum combining text study with art, music, and participant-generated commentary. Structured around Girls in Trouble, Alicia Jo Rabins’ indie-folk song cycle about women in Torah, and created in response to requests by educators looking for ways to use this material in the classroom, The Complicated Lives of Biblical Women utilizes the power of the arts to help a diverse Jewish audience access the dramatic, varied stories of Biblical women. At the end of the course of study, participants are invited to continue the interpretive tradition, and in so doing to address traditional gender imbalance, by contributing their voices to a collaborative, interdisciplinary, “Talmud-style” online commentary about Biblical women.

Building on the thousands of people who currently encounter Girls in Trouble as audience members and students each year, this curriculum brings the complicated lives of Biblical women to light; empowers participants to enter the feminist interpretive process themselves; and, in turn, strengthens the feminist Jewish tradition by adding new voices to the canon.

While the Girls in Trouble Curriculum is a focus of Alicia’s educational and artistic practice, the Fellowship also supports her broader work as a feminist Jewish artist. Rabins works in music, poetry and theater to bring Jewish women’s experience, and stories of women in Jewish texts and traditions, into the center of the Jewish conversation. Key projects include Divinity School, her book of poetry, which won the 2015 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize; Girls in Trouble, her indie-folk song cycle about women in Torah; and A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, a one-woman chamber-rock opera about the intersection of finance and spirituality.