Alicia Jo Rabins is a poet, composer, performer and Torah scholar based in Portland, OR and Brooklyn, NY. Her poems appear in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Ploughshares, 6x6, Court Green, anthologies from NYU Press and Knopf, and a chapbook from Artscape Press (selected by Mary Oliver). A classically trained violinist since the age of three, Alicia recently premiered her original piece “A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff,” a chamber rock opera about the spiritual implications of the financial collapse, at Joe's Pub in New York City. She is currently at work editing her first collection of poems.
Alicia is the songwriter and bandleader of Girls in Trouble, an art-pop song cycle about the complicated lives of women in Torah, which has performed across the US, Canada and Europe, released two albums, and garnered critical praise from Huffington Post, the New Yorker, and LA Weekly. For eight years she was the fiddle player in pioneering klezmer-punk band Golem, and she has received grants and scholarships from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Six Points Fellowship, and the LABA Fellowship at the 14th St Y. She has also served as a cultural ambassador for the US State Department, performing American fiddle music in Central America and Kuwait.
An experienced and dedicated Jewish educator, in 2010 Alicia founded Personal Torah, offering creative, meaningful bar/bat mitzvah preparation and adult Torah study in person or online. She has presented at the New School, Northwest Vista College, Hebrew Union College, and numerous conferences. Rabins holds an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College and an MA in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary.