The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Yavilah McCoy

b. November 8, 1972

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Yavilah McCoy until we are able to commission a full entry.

Yavilah McCoy in The Colors of Water, a theatrical performance about her African-American family's journey in Jewish living.

Yavilah McCoy is the founder of Ayecha, a nonprofit Jewish organization that provided Jewish diversity education and advocacy for Jews of color in the United States. Raised in an Orthodox family, McCoy studied at Yeshiva University High School and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She has taught Judaic Studies, Hebrew, and English Literature in elementary and secondary schools. In directing Ayecha from 2000–2008, she worked with rabbis, synagogues, schools, federations and multiple agencies to increase awareness of Jewish diversity and expand inclusion for Jews of color. As an anti-racism activist, she has provided training and consulting to numerous social justice agencies both within and outside of the Jewish community. In 2008 she became director of the New England Curriculum Initiative, a non-profit educational consultancy that services 600 prep schools across the nation with religious diversity resources. In 2009 McCoy co-wrote and performed The Colors of Water, a Jewish gospel musical describing the matriarchal journey of four generations of her African-American Jewish family. In 2014 she established Dimensions Educational Consulting, through which she continues to support organizations in expanding their relationships across race, religion, identity and culture.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Yavilah McCoy." (Viewed on September 19, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/mccoy-yavilah>.

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