Psalms in Search of Home

Three poets on new expressions of Jewish identity & meaning


in their work and our world

Nearly 100 people came out for this evening of reflection on the changing meaning of Jewish identity in the 21st century

On a chilly Saturday night in November a standing room only crowd came to SomaSpace in NE Portland, to hear three contemporary Jewish poets read and discuss their poetry.  Rabbi Josh facilitated a dialogue and invited audience questions.  The three discussed the purpose of art in a time of political and environmental crisis, and what role Jewish identity plays in their work as poets and public voices.  Before and after the packed house enjoyed energetic music with Daniel Raider, Rabbi Benjamin Barnett, Steve Mesulam and Chaim Rothschild.  

Snapshots of the Evening

Meet the Poets

Dan Alter’s poems and reviews have been published in journals including Field, Fourteen Hills, Pank, and Zyzzyva; his first collection “My Little Book of Exiles” won the Poetry category for the 2022 Anne and Robert Cowan Writer’s Prize. He is a former fellow of the Arad Arts Project, and a member of the Community of Writers at Olympic Valley. He lives with his wife and daughter in Berkeley and makes his living as an IBEW electrician. He can be found online at

Daniela Naomi Molnar is an artist, poet, and writer working with the mediums of language, image, paint, pigment, and place. She is also a wilderness guide, educator, and eternal student. Her art is about transmuting grief to wonder. Her work was the subject of a recent Oregon Art Beat profile and a front-page feature in the Los Angeles Times. Her book CHORUS will be published in late 2022, the winner of Omnidawn’s 1st /2nd Book Prize, judged by Kazim Ali. She can be found in Portland, Oregon, exploring public wildlands, or at  / Instagram: @daniela_naomi_molnar

Alicia Jo Rabins is an award-winning writer, musician, performer and Torah teacher. She is the author of two poetry books, Divinity School (winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize) and Fruit Geode (a finalist for the Jewish Book Award) and a book of essays about parenthood and Jewish spirituality, Even God Had Bad Parenting Days (Behrman House, 2022). As a musician, Rabins is the creator and performer of Girls in Trouble, an indie-folk song cycle about women in Torah, and the creator, star and composer of A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, an indie feature film based on her one-woman chamber-rock opera, which The Atlantic calls “a blessing.” She lives in North Portland with her husband and their two children. Visit her at