Devon Spier is a writer, educator and artistic creator, who studies rabbinics at the Academy for Jewish Religion (NY).
A recognized change maker and compassion catalyst, she has spent over two decades in the non-profit sector, from local neighbourhoods, to JCCs, Jewish day camps to human rights boards, theatres to grassroots women’s groups, to most recently, the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom.
Devon’s impact in the Canadian non-profit sphere has been far-reaching. Here, she has worked in cooperation with local neighbourhood and municipal stakeholders to successfully create the first Halal breakfast program in Canada.
She has also collaborated with student entrepreneurs, municipal leaders, a local farmer’s market and Food Bank to re-purpose food waste and change the approach to food insecurity in a mid-sized Canadian city.
Locating strength in difference , Devon designed and implemented a multi-faith Peace Camp in a Christian-university college. For her vision on courageous encounters that bring together the most unlikely peacemakers, Peace Camp received a prestigious grant from the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation, which saw the camp expand its mandate to provide non-violence training for thousands of students across Canada each year.
Devon’s work is also notable in the Jewish community. She is the most published author on Ritualwell.org and her work on trauma and power-informed Jewish community has been consulted and published by the London School for Jewish Studies, the Reconstructionist Judaism movement, the Jewish Women’s Archives, Hevria and Jewcer: The Leading Crowdfunding Platform for Jewish Causes. Her Jewish rituals, poems and artistic programming have also been selected for use by NewCAJE, The Howard Grinspoon Foundation, The Jewish Artists’ Laboratory in Boston and most recently, the City Museum of New York.
For her achievements, Devon has been honoured with peacebuilding awards from the YMCA and Interfaith Grand River as well two academic recognitions from the Departments of Religious Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo.
In early 2018, she was selected as the first Canadian rabbinic student to participate in the T’ruah Summer Fellowship for Human Rights. She was also recognized by the Ontario Government as a recipient of the “Leading Women, Building Communities” award, which recognizes women who break down barriers for other women.
“Heart Map and the Song of Our Ancestors” is Devon’s first book.