Happy Women’s History Month! Help JWA continue to lift up Jewish women’s stories, this month and every month, by making a gift today!
Close [x]

Show [+]

The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Alicia Jo Rabins

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

Photo of musician and poet Alicia Jo Rabins by Jason Quigley, courtesy of Alicia Jo Rabins.

With her indie rock song cycle Girls in Trouble, musician Alicia Jo Rabins has reinterpreted the women of the Bible for a modern audience. Rabins began playing the violin at age three at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and writing poetry at age eleven. After graduating from Barnard College in 1998, she spent two years studying at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem. Upon her return to America, she earned a master’s degree in Jewish women’s studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2007. Her thesis, which aimed to find new ways to teach about the women of the Bible, evolved into the Girls in Trouble song cycle, first performed at the Jewish Museum in New York in 2008. She also spent eight years touring with the klezmer punk band Golem and served as a goodwill ambassador for the State Department, performing in Central America in 2009 and Kuwait in 2011. Continuing her multifaceted exploration of Jewish culture and tradition, Rabins created a rock musical, A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, in 2014 and began writing a regular column for Kveller interpreting the weekly Torah portions through her experiences as a new mother. Meanwhile, she continued to write poetry, earning an MFA from Warren Wilson College in 2009 and receiving the Honickman First Book Prize for her collection Divinity School in 2015.

Alicia Jo Rabins has since developed the Girls in Trouble curriculum that is based on her song cycle, and she has worked with JWA to offer condensed versions of the lessons on jwa.org.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Alicia Jo Rabins." (Viewed on March 28, 2023) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/rabins-alicia-jo>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox

Read the latest from JWA from your inbox.

sign up now