About the panelists and moderator

 Katherine E. Brown, Ph.D., Panelist, is an alum of Wesley Theological Seminary and an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church. Her interest in close reading of authoritative texts, developed as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, was significantly furthered through her studies at Wesley (M.Div. 2006) and The Catholic University of America (Ph.D. 2018). Her research focus is on the prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible, particularly the ways in which those texts demonstrate that engagement with text is understood as life-giving for communities of faith, whether the community is defined as ancient Israel, the early church, or modern congregations.

Susanna Garfein, Ph.D., Panelist, is Director of Leadership Engagement and Development for The Center for Leadership, a program of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, where she inspires current and future leaders on their volunteer journeys in the Associated and its agencies. In addition to her role at The Associated, Susanna is a frequent lecturer of Bible and Jewish texts in the greater Baltimore area. Susanna served as the Director of the graduate program in Jewish Studies at Towson University as well as Dean of Students at Baltimore Hebrew University, where she taught a variety of courses in Bible and Religious Studies. Susanna received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies with a concentration in Hebrew Bible and Northwest Semitic Philology from the Johns Hopkins University and her BA in Religion from The University of Georgia.

Ben Sax, Ph.D., Moderator, serves as the Head of Scholarship and the Jewish Scholar at the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies in Baltimore. Ben is an experienced professor, university administrator, scholar, award-winning teacher, public speaker, and practitioner and facilitator of interreligious dialogue. Before arriving at the ICJS, Ben was director of the Malcolm and Diane Rosenberg Program in Judaic Studies and the founding faculty principal at the West Ambler Johnston Residential College at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. In addition to publishing on topics relating to Jewish philosophy, German-Jewish history and culture, Jewish-Christian relations, and interreligious dialogue, Ben has discussed his work on PBS and Baltimore’s NPR affiliate WYPR.