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Erica Shaps
Erica Hope Shaps is currently serving as an Entwine Jewish Service Corps Fellow with the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Through this role, she is addressing socioeconomic issues in Israel as part of JDC's TEVET employment initiative.

Erica recently graduated from Brandeis University cum laude with highest honors in Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies and International & Global Studies with a minor in Peace, Conflict & Coexistence Studies. As an Interfaith Youth Core Fellow, she co-founded the Brandeis Interfaith Group (BIG) and served as Campus Relations Coordinator on Hillel Board. Most recently, she was the director of development and a co-founder of Brandeis Visions for Israel in an Evolving World (bVIEW) an initiative depolarizing campus conversations about Israel and encouraging students to be forward-thinking regarding the Middle East.

You can find her personal blog at

Entries by Erica Shaps

Two Jews, Many Obligations

(2) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 12:13 PM

"You work with Bedouins?!", he asked, in a question that was noticeably more of a statement. I could sense that the man was growing increasingly agitated as I described my work to him. I explained that as part of my year as a Jewish Service Corps Fellow with...

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Bostonians, Now Is the Time for Courage

(34) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 8:12 PM

Sitting in my Brandeis dorm room on lockdown due to the manhunt in Watertown, staring at an almost deserted main road, it is difficult to reconcile the emotions running through my head. I remind myself that the sadness, vulnerability, confusion, and anger I feel are entirely valid. Yet...

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Christmas at Brandeis: Kosher Cookies Will Be Served

(0) Comments | Posted December 24, 2012 | 3:17 PM

The first time I saw a flyer advertising the Brandeis University's Annual Messiah Sing, and the corresponding kosher Christmas cookies, I did a double take. Kosher Christmas cookies? Really?

As a freshman, I was a little surprised to discover that a community wide rendition of Handel's...

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Marching in the Light of God: Faith at the International AIDS Conference

(2) Comments | Posted July 26, 2012 | 7:17 AM

The National Cathedral's Gothic limestone walls and majestic high ceilings echoed with the sounds of calls to prayer in three languages. The recently unveiled 2012 AIDS Memorial Quilt stood in sharp contrast to the antiquated stained glass windows. Meanwhile, imams, priests, pastors, rabbis and community leaders solemnly walked...

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Standing at the Red Sea

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 11:45 AM

Whether you believe it is a myth, the word of God, or somewhere in between, you can't deny that the Exodus is one of the most captivating and enduring stories in Western civilization. It spawned two blockbuster films and served as inspiration for numerous modern social justice movements. Passover is...

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Muslim Students Have a Right to Privacy: An Interfaith Reflection

(59) Comments | Posted February 24, 2012 | 9:55 AM

When I was on a Brandeis University Hillel first year retreat, it never crossed my mind that the police might be watching me. It sounds silly and irrational. However, after the Associated Press disclosed a New York Police Department (NYPD) program monitoring and investigating college students involved with Muslim...

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