About Penny

Penny Rosenwasser

In addition to her most recent book, Hope into Practice, Jewish women choosing justice despite our fears, Penny Rosenwasser is the author of Visionary Voices, Women on Power: Conversations with shamans, activists, teachers, artists and healers, and Voices from a ‘Promised Land:’ Palestinian & Israeli peace activists speak their hearts. A life-long heartfelt rabble-rouser for justice, she earned her Ph.D. at the California Institute of Integral Studies (San Francisco) in Transformational Learning & Change. Penny is former Jewish Caucus Chair of the National Women’s Studies Association and a founding board member of Jewish Voice for Peace. She teaches an Anti-Semitism/Anti-Arabism class with a Palestinian colleague at the City College of San Francisco and belongs to Kehilla Synagogue.

Penny Rosenwasser

As of Spring 2014, Hope into Practice has been reviewed in the following national journals: JewishCurrents.org, The Progressive Magazine, Tikkun.org, and Lilith. Penny is in the middle of a 50-event national book tour — including these universities: Harvard, DePaul, U. of Minnesota, Agnes Scott, U. of Victoria, Syracuse U., CSU Northridge, the California Institute of Integral Studies — and synagogues or synagogue/Jewish-related events in Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Ann Arbor, Madison, Vancouver, Ithaca, Olympia, Oakland, Ukiah (CA) and Cotati (CA).

Read Testimonials about Penny’s Talks

collage showing Penny Rosenwasser speaking, protesting and teaching for peace.

Top left: Penny speaking at a Jewish Voice for Peace demonstration in San Francisco, circa 2002. Right: 1990, Penny standing in Jerusalem with Women in Black (with members of our US women’s peace brigade). Our signs in Hebrew translate to “end the occupation”. Lower left: Penny teaching Anti-Semitism/Anti-Arabism class at City College of San Francisco 2013 with Roni Abusaad, Ph.D.

Transplanted to Oakland, California from Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C., Penny is also a member of the European American Collaborative for Challenging Whiteness, and works as an event organizer and fundraiser. A former performing folk musician, KPFA radio host/producer, women’s music networker, festival organizer, and diversity workshop leader, she’s been active on issues ranging from ending nuclear power and weapons, to feminism and queer liberation, to peace and racial justice, especially focusing on Israel-Palestine—including leading four women’s peace delegations to that region.

She has published in Lilith, Tikkun, Bridges, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Feminist Studies Quarterly, Alternet, PlanetOut, Creation Spirituality, off our backs, and the San Francisco Bay Times. And she loves fooling around on the ukelele, drumming on the dumbek, and snorkeling in search of sea turtles and spotted eagle rays.

My confirmation class at Temple Beth El in Arlington, VA, circa 1965. I am third row from the top, third one from the left.
My confirmation class at Temple Beth El in Arlington, VA, circa 1965.
I am third row from the top, third one from the left.
Grandaddys store in South Carolina in the 30s-40s
My granddaddy’s Moishe’s (far left) dry goods store in Denmark, SC in the 1930s-40s.
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