Tema Smith is a member of the inaugural cohort of the Hartman Seminar & Writers Workshop for Journalists and a diversity advocate, writer, educator and Jewish community builder. Her writing on race, Jewish identity, Jewish community, and social justice has been published in the Forward, My JewishLearning, The Globe and Mail, the Canadian Jewish News, and eJewishPhilanthropy.
Tema currently serves as the Director of Professional Development at 18Doors (formerly 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. Over the past decade, Tema has worked to advance the conversation on racially diverse Judaism, working with organizations like Be’chol Lashon, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the Miles Nadal JCC, CJPAC and conducting trainings and presentations for numerous synagogues, Jewish organizations, and academic institutions including the Boston, Buffalo and Greater Washington JCRCs, the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, Hillel International, Limmud North America, Hadassah, the AJC, Drexel University, Harvard and the ADL.
Tema is a member of the Nexus Task Force examining the issues at the nexus of Israel and Antisemitism in America hosted at the Knight Program in Media and Religion at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, and the Board of Directors of the New Israel Fund of Canada.
She lives in her hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her sidekick, a twelve-year-old extraordinarily stubborn shih tzu named Tashi and his tiny buddy Padma, her pour over coffee gear, and way too many books.