Rabbi Sandra Lawson named associate chaplain for Jewish life, Jewish educator at Hillel 

Rabbi Lawson will continue Hillel’s work to create an inclusive, welcoming community at Elon University

Rabbi Sandra Lawson begins her work at the university on July 16.
Elon University has named Rabbi Sandra Lawson as its next associate chaplain for Jewish life and Jewish educator at Hillel. 

Lawson received her ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2018. Her vision as a rabbi is to help build a more inclusive Jewish community where all are welcomed, diversity is embraced and all can come together to learn and pray.

“We are thrilled that Sandra is joining our team at Elon Hillel, and look forward to the fresh, dynamic and creative perspectives she will bring to our pluralistic Jewish community,” said Betsy Polk, director of Jewish Life.

Lawson uses her rabbinic training to bring Judaism to where people already are in their lives. As a rabbinical student, Lawson received a prestigious grant to lead Shabbat services for unaffiliated Jews in a vegan cafe, launched her podcast, Minutes of Torah, served as a student rabbi and chaplain, and also became known as the “The Snapchat Rabbi” thanks to her innovative use of social media. 

Lawson has served in the United States Army, owned a personal training business, worked as an adjunct instructor of sociology and served as the investigative researcher for the Anti-Defamation League’s Southeast Region. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in a military family. She graduated magna cum laude from Saint Leo University in Florida with a degree in sociology. She also holds a master’s degree in sociology from Clark Atlanta University in Georgia.

Rabbi Lawson will be joined by her wife, Susan Hurrey, and their three dogs, Bridget, Izzy and Simon. She officially begins her work at the university on July 16.