Tema Smith is a diversity advocate, writer and Jewish community builder. She is currently the Director of Professional Development at InterfaithFamily an organization that empowers people in interfaith relationships to engage in Jewish life and make Jewish choices, and encourages Jewish communities to welcome them. This comes after seven years as a synagogue professional, most recently as the Director of Community Engagement at Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto’s oldest synagogue. Tema holds a certificate in Interfaith Families Jewish Engagement from Hebrew College, and was a Professional Affiliate of the Jewish Outreach Institute.
Tema is also a contributing columnist at The Forward whose writing has been published in , MyJewishLearning, the Globe and Mail, and the Canadian Jewish News. Tema is dedicated to building a meaningful and inclusive Jewish community through research, training, writing and relational engagement work.
Over the past ten years, Tema has worked to advance the conversation on racially diverse Judaism, working with organizations like Be’chol Lashon and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and conducting trainings for local Jewish organizations like the Downtown Jewish Community Council, housed at Toronto’s Miles Nadal JCC.
Before beginning her career in Jewish communal service, Tema was a graduate student in Religion and Politics and Early Judaism under the supervision of the former Canada Research Chair in Modern Jewish Thought at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.