Core Semikha, Class of 2023
Raised in the social, linguistic and culturally diverse Jewish communities of Gothenburg, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, Briah Cahana is honoured to begin a new chapter in New York at Yeshivat Maharat. Over the years, she has immersed herself in many formal, traditional and experiential Jewish learning environments such as Hadar, Kivunim, Pardes, and Urban Adamah all of which inform her understanding of the expansiveness of Jewish life and tradition and depth of its values. Briah is a passionate student of Torah and has experience teaching Tanakh informally at summer camp and coaching elementary and high school students for the Chidon Hatanach competition. She received her BA at McGill University in Philosophy, Jewish Studies and Arabic, which she put to use by participating in interfaith dialogue groups and co-creating a space for religious women to gather to discuss their faiths and build personal connections through art, poetry, music and volunteering. Later, she completed her MA at Mcgill University in the History of Bible Interpretation and wrote a thesis that focused on the story of the Hebrew Midwives, inspired by her work as a doula. In between waiting for babies to be delivered and writing her thesis, she had the opportunity to study sofrut, which is as much an outlet for her spirituality as for her creativity.