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Christopher Lewis Gibson,


Chris holds master’s degrees in English and Ancient and Medieval History. He is a writer with 14 books to his credit, including novels and collections of short stories and poetry. As an educator with more than 15 years’ experience, Chris has worked at both the K12 and collegiate levels, teaching and tutoring the history of religion, writing, and literature. Chris inherits Judaism from his grandmother, and he is proud to be the first in his family to embrace it since she revisited it shortly before her death.

Rabbi Joshua Ethan Rubin,


Joshua is Senior Lecturer of English at Indiana University South Bend, where he has taught for 12 years, supervising writing tutoring for the first eleven. Joshua also earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from IU South Bend, and his thesis in Creative Nonfiction was titled, Circumcision and Its Discontents: Constructions of Jewish Identity in Literary Memoir. Though he was raised in South Bend, he ran away for several years to pursue careers as varied as actor, union organizer, and line cook. On returning in 2002, he became involved in the local Jewish community first as singer and religious school teacher at Temple Beth-El and Sinai Synagogue, then as chazan for the autumn festivals at Temple Israel of Porter County, where he served for 12 years. Joshua continues to serve as Jewish Spiritual Leader to Culver Academies, entering his 15th year.

        Joshua was ordained by an independent beit din in Manhattan, July 2021, after more than a decade of study. In December 2022 he gave a presentation at the University of Notre Dame titled, "The Liberal Jewish Fellowship: Toward a Tribe without Tribalism," at the third annual Faith in the Story conference sponsored by ND's Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation. Joshua is honored to have been asked to return for the fourth annual conference in October 2023.

        Joshua lives with his son, Joseph, a rising high school junior.

Abbee Smith,


Abbee is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 30-years’ experience. Though her private practice, Intrigue Counselling, offers psychotherapy to all ages and gender identities, as well as to couples, Abbee has a particular passion for working with trans adolescents, and she feels deeply humbled to participate in their journeys. A South Bend native, Abbee is thrilled to have found a Jewish home in the LJF, where she makes her first foray into Jewish leadership.

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