The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Laura Spero

b. August 5, 1980

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

Photo of Laura Spero.

Courtesy of Laura Spero.

In Nepal, where oral decay is the most prevalent childhood illness and adults fully expect to lose all their teeth as they age, Laura Spero established Jevaia Oral Health Care to provide sustainable, community-based rural dental care. Spero first traveled to Nepal as an undergraduate in 2001, then returned the following year to teach English in the village of Kaskikot. She spent nine months living and working with local people, learning Nepali by ear and familiarizing herself with Nepal’s people and culture. In 2007 she founded Eva Nepal, now Jevaia International, which specializes in human-centered projects built on collaborations with rural communities. Jevaia Oral Health Care establishes rural dental clinics and school tooth-brushing programs, both run by village residents. As of 2015, JOHC has eight clinics serving a population of over 50,000 people in eleven villages. Most recently, Spero used her experience with community organizing in post-earthquake Nepal to help villagers build 179 homes, housing over 900 people, in just six weeks. Spero divides her time between Nepal and Connecticut, where she is the full-time CEO of Jevaia International as well as a writer and freelance journalist. She blogs at

Laura Spero is a grantee of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York (JWFNY), and is featured as part of a partnership between JWA and JWFNY spotlighting Jewish women social entrepreneurs.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Laura Spero." (Viewed on November 29, 2021) <>.


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