Debra’s work in Hebrew illuminated manuscripts draws upon her love of both the manuscript arts, and Jewish tradition and learning. She holds BA Honours in History from Concordia University in Montreal and an MS in Political Science from MIT, and has worked in Hebrew manuscripts since 1987. Descended from an eminent rabbinic family, married into a family of scholars of modern Hebrew literature, her extensive studies of Jewish texts and research into medieval European and middle Eastern painting and manuscripts inform her work. Jewish Publishing Society published her first two illuminated manuscripts, The Song of Songs: the Honeybee in the Garden (2005), I Will Wake the Dawn: Illuminated Psalms (2007), and Arise! Arise! Deborah, Ruth and Hannah, in the latter two, collaborating with Arnold J. Band.
Kabbalat Shabbat: the Grand Unification, a collaboration with Raymond P. Scheindlin, with contributions by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Arthur Green will appear in April 2016 from Honeybee in the Garden, LLC. In addition, her work includes illuminated and papercut ketubot and other works in group exhibits, private collections, community institutions and galleries across the English-speaking world. Her original paintings of the Song of Songs and Psalms have toured the United States and Canada. Debra works extensively with the Women’s League of Conservative Judaism and the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She speaks regularly across the United States and Canada at diverse Jewish and Christian venues ranging from synagogues to academic conferences and seminaries, and the Library of Congress . Apart from her work in Hebrew manuscript arts, Debra is involved in medical ethics review; she participates as a lay member in the Neurosciences Institutional Review Board of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Debra has lived throughout the US and Canada, and after many years in California and New Mexico, resides in the Washington DC area.