Biography

Noam Sienna is a scholar of Jewish culture and history, a Jewish educator, and a Hebrew calligrapher and book artist. Originally from Toronto, Noam received his PhD in Jewish History and Museum Studies at the University of Minnesota in 2020. He also holds a MA in Religious Studies from the University of Toronto, and two degrees from Brandeis University: an MAT in Judaic Studies and a BA in Anthropology and Classics with a minor in Religion. He has taught and lectured about Jewish cultural heritage at academic and community venues around the world, and he has published articles about Jewish history, culture, and art in both scholarly and popular journals.

Headshot of Noam Sienna

His academic work has focused on Jewish communities in the Islamic world, from the Middle Ages to the present. His current book project (based on his dissertation), entitled Jewish Book Culture in Early Modern North Africa, examined the changing contexts of Jewish book culture in the Maghreb in the 18th and 19th centuries. He has also served as a research assistant, educational consultant, and co-curator for exhibitions and programs at the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, the Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Art, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

His first book, A Rainbow Thread: An Anthology of Queer Jewish Texts from the First Century to 1969 (Philadelphia: Print-O-Craft, 2019), collects 120 primary sources for the study of LGBTQ Jewish history, with introductions and extensive bibliography. It was awarded the 2020 Reference Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries, and the 2020 Anthology Award from the Lambda Literary Foundation.

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