Miller Center for Interreligous Learning & Leadership Staff

Or Rose  

Rabbi Or N. Rose

A leading writer and social activist, Or Rose is the founding director of the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership which promotes religious and cultural literacy, dialogue, and joint action for the common good. He also was founding director of the former Center for Global Judaism, which provides educational programming and resources on issues of contemporary Jewish spirituality, Israel-Diaspora relations, religious pluralism and environmental responsibility. In addition to his duties at the Miller Center, Rose serves as co-director of the Center for Interreligious and Community Leadership Education, a joint venture of Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School. Prior to taking this position, Rose was associate dean and director of informal education at the Rabbinical School, where he still teaches. He is co-editor of Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections (Jewish Lights, 2010); My Neighbor's Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth and Transformation (Orbis, 2012); and Words to Live By: Sacred Sources for Interreligious Engagement (Orbis, 2018).



Reverend Soren M. Hessler 
Associate Director

Rev. Soren M. Hessler is associate director of the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning and Leadership at Hebrew College and formerly served as Chapel Associate for Leadership Development at Boston University's Marsh Chapel. He is an ordained elder in the West Ohio Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has been a member of the United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training Young Adult Network. Rev. Hessler holds master’s degrees in church administration, education, and theology from Boston University and is a practical theology PhD candidate at the university’s school of theology, where his research focuses on the history and practice of accreditation at theological schools in the United States in the early twentieth century. He is co-editor of Words to Live By: Sacred Sources for Interreligious Engagement (Orbis, 2018).

Marilyn Stern
Community Engagement Administrator

Marilyn Stern is the Community Engagement Administrator of The Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning and Leadership at Hebrew College. Prior to working at Hebrew College, Marilyn served as the Director of Congregational Learning and the Family Educator, at Temple Isaiah, a Reform synagogue in Lexington, MA for 17 years. In two decades of work as a Jewish educator, Marilyn was privileged to guide parents from a variety of religious traditions raising children of the Jewish faith and looks forward to drawing on these experiences in her work at the Miller Center. She holds a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from Hebrew College, and received her Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Tom Reid

Tom Reid
Community Engagement Associate

Tom is a third-year MDiv student at Boston University School of Theology. Prior to returning to higher education, Tom worked as the Senior Manager of Business Development with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) in Boston. Prior to that, he worked in environmental consulting for several years with companies in Boston and Dubai and in the program administration of an international MBA program at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. Originally from Kansas, Tom holds a BA from the University of Kansas in Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies, and Spanish and an MA in European Politics, Policy, and Society (known as the Euromasters Program) granted by the University of Bath in the UK and other members of the Euromasters consortium. Tom preparing for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Oelmis "Emi" Fermin

Oelmis "Emi" Fermin
Community Engagement Assistant

Oelmis “Emi” Fermin is an undergraduate student at
Boston University majoring in Middle Eastern and North African Studies. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, to immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Emi grew up speaking Spanish along with learning the cultural traditions of the nation such as dancing bachata, merengue, salsa, and playing baseball. Although raised in a Catholic household, Emi converted to Islam after fasting during Ramadan. Emi also serves as a Marsh Associate at Boston University’s Marsh Chapel. With a great interest in interfaith relations, Emi hopes to encourage positive interfaith dialogue and collaboration in his position at Hebrew College and promote a more unified community in the greater Boston

Phoebe Oler

Phoebe Oler
Community Engagement Assistant

Phoebe Oler is an undergraduate student at Boston University majoring in Biological Anthropology. Phoebe grew up in Connecticut singing with a nationally renowned Episcopal choir program for 10 years. She toured in Italy when she was 8 years old and in England when she was 13: singing in places such as Westminster Abbey and the Vatican. Upon arriving at Boston University her freshman year, she auditioned and was selected to sing in the Marsh Chapel Choir. Her sophomore year she was offered a job as music program administrator for Marsh Chapel. Her junior year she is excited to serve Marsh Chapel as a Marsh Associate intern. Phoebe is very grateful for the opportunity to work at the Miller Center with people who share an interest in faith, dialogue, and community. She hopes to learn more about her personal interests and her local/global goals through work with the Miller Center.

Jamsion Fellow 

Axel Marc Oaks Takács
Managing Editor, Journal of Interreligious Studies

Axel Marc Oaks Takács, Editor-in-Chief, is a doctoral candidate at Harvard Divinity School. His areas of focus are Islamic Studies, Christian theology, and comparative theology. He is currently working on his dissertation, which is an exercise in comparative and constructive theology between a Christian and Islamic textual tradition. While having studied the classical and post-classical Islamic intellectual tradition broadly, his more narrow specialty is on the formative Islamic mystical tradition of Muḥyiddin ibn ʿArabī, his later Arabic and Persian interpreters, and its influence on the Persian poetic tradition.  On the Christian side, he reads pre-modern theological texts in search of constructive theological application in our contemporary world, always with a comparative lens that reflects the multi-religious and pluralistic world in which we live.  In addition to his editorial position at the Journal of Inter-Religious Studies, he is the co-founder and current Editor-in-Chief of the graduate student publication, Journal of Comparative Theology ( He has published in numerous journals, including the Journal of Ecumenical Studies, the Journal of the Muḥyiddin ibn ʿArabī Society, and The Cord. His most recent publication is a book chapter in How To Do Comparative Theology (Fordham University Press, forthcoming): “An Interpreter and Not a Judge: Insights into Christian-Islamic Comparative Theology.” He is currently a residential house tutor at Kirkland House of Harvard College.

judith kates 

Dr. Silvia Glick 
Associate Managing Editor, Journal of Interreligous Studies

Silvia Glick is also the managing editor and assistant director of The Howard Thurman Papers Project at Boston University School of Theology, which she joined in 2012. Prior to working as an editor she practiced law for many years. She is a graduate of the PhD program of the Editorial Institute at Boston University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Her dissertation is an annotated edition of the correspondence of Fanny Goldstein—the founder of Jewish Book Week, a social activist, and a librarian and curator of Judaica at the Boston Public Library. Her work has been supported by a fellowship from the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. Silvia holds an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law, where she served as an articles editor for the Boston University Public Interest Law Journal.

Batya Ellinoy
2018-2019 Residential Interreligious Learning and Leadership Fellow

Kelly Kossar
2018-2019 Residential Interreligious Learning and Leadership Fellow

Kelly is entering her third year of rabbinical school at Hebrew College. She also serves as the Grade 2 Lead Teacher & Professional Development Coordinator at Temple Israel of Boston. Prior to rabbinical school, Kelly received her Master's in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a Certificate in Jewish Education specializing in Adolescents & Emerging Adults from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Before starting her graduate studies, Kelly spent four years living and working in Greensboro, NC at the American Hebrew Academy, the nation's only pluralistic Jewish boarding school.