Alanna Cooper is the Director of Jewish Studies at Siegal Lifelong Learning. In this role, she develops and oversees the many Jewish Studies courses, panel discussions and lectures that Siegal offers. In addition, Alanna advocates, strategizes, and forges partnerships designed to keep the program vibrant and financially healthy, and to maintain it as an important cornerstone in Jewish Cleveland's cultural and educational landscape.
In 2013, Alanna moved to Cleveland with her husband and three daughters. Prior to her arrival, she earned her PhD in cultural anthropology, and was also very active in teaching adult education. She loves being in the classroom, and finds teaching adults to be a particularly exciting way to develop her own ideas through lively conversation.
Alanna has an extensive publishing record in both the academic press and in popular media outlets such as The Jewish Daily Forward, Lilith, Jerusalem Post, Jewish Review of Books and Jewish Telegraphic Agency. She is the author of Bukharan Jews and the Dynamics of Global Judaism, published by Indiana University Press and is currently working on a second book, Preserving and Disposing of the Sacred. She has held teaching and research positions at Harvard University, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Boston University, University of Michigan and University of Massachusetts, Amherst.