Taylor Winfield Haboucha
Taylor was born into a life of exploration – she lived in four states before the age of ten. Once her family settled in California, she was eager to continue her adventure and spent many summers abroad during high school and college. During her travels, she became fascinated by the ways in which individuals find meaning in their lives through forming groups, particularly within the context of religion. In her college honors thesis, Taylor documented how spiritual seekers evolved over the course of their journeys and identified which community dynamics contributed to the developmental process. Post-graduation, she embarked on the Dorot Fellowship in Israel where she researched the immersion experience of newly Orthodox Hasidic women. Taylor spent the next year at Yeshivat Hadar exploring the possibilities of egalitarianism within Observant Judaism. Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology, Taylor is interested in the mechanisms through which certain Jewish organizations convince unaffiliated Jews to become religious and how these are employed on college campuses. She aims to adapt these techniques to empower students with tools to explore the variety of ways to be Jewish and contribute to a vibrant, diverse community. Taylor will work to help innovate curriculums to teach Torah in an accessible way that creates cohesion and common understanding, but does not provide normative pressure to be Jewish in a particular way. Her goal is to pursue a career as a university professor that uses her research to enrich Jewish communities and reinvigorate Jewish life on campuses across America.