Shayna Han

Shayna Han

Shayna Han (she/her) grew up in New York and is a member of Temple Israel of New Rochelle. The intersection of Judaism and social justice is a deep and abiding part of Shayna’s life and identity: she was involved with NFTYUrban Mitzvah CorpsCrane Lake CampHillelBirthright, Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, and the RAC’s very own L’Taken and Machon Kaplan programs. Shayna graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Union College. She earned the Minerva Prize her senior year for her history thesis on watershed literary heroine Nancy Drew and her work to establish the Committee for Consent Education (a group dedicated to combating sexual assault). After graduation, Shayna interned for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in New York City and earned a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification. From 2016-2021 she lived in SpainIsrael, and South Korea, teaching English to elementary school students. Her experiences abroad enriched her cultural knowledge by allowing her to learn different languages, meet new people, and experience different foods, holidays, and beliefs. 

Shayna’s portfolio includes gun violence preventionenvironment and climate change, Israel, foreign policyantisemitism, the Holocaust, international religious freedom, and Native American rights. She is proud to be in the first cohort of the Jews of Color Initiative partnership with the RAC LA program.  

This Tishah B'Av, Act as if There Was No God

Shayna Han
August 2, 2022
Tishah B'Av is a day of mourning, commemorating the destruction of the first and second Temples. In recent years, it's also a day to mourn other tragedies that have darkened Jewish history - the Romans putting down the Bar Kochba revolt, mass murders of Jewish communities during the Crusades, expulsions from England, France, and Spain in the Middle Ages, and the Holocaust.

Enough is enough: What you can do to help stop American gun violence

Shayna Han
June 8, 2022
Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa, and other recent incidents of gun violence highlight the fact that the U.S. has been locked in a cycle of apathetic “thoughts and prayers,” while little federal action has been taken on this public safety and public health issue. We must end the helpless, apathetic cycle of “thoughts and prayers.” Enough is enough. To stand idly by and do nothing in the face of such senseless slaughter is unconscionable and antithetical to our Jewish values and beliefs. To paraphrase Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, we will pray with our marching feet and voices.

How the Legacy of Rosa Parks Echoes in the Present

Israel Harris
Shayna Han
February 4, 2022
Today, the anniversary of Rosa Parks’s birthday, is the ideal time to revisit her life and legacy for the inspiration and wisdom they provide. Many Americans remember Rosa Parks as the tired seamstress who refused to move to the back of a bus, but Rosa Parks is much more than that story: though she did not identify as Jewish, her life reflected a commitment that we might identify as tikkun olam – repairing what is broken in our world. Here are three key insights from Rosa Parks’ life we can bear in mind as Black History Month begins.