In Third Person
Deanna Neil is a writer, performer, Jewish educator, ritual leader and facilitator. Neil was the founding Director of Jewish Innovation at the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles, where she led and created Jewish programming, developed a school, and helped establish a community over the course of 6 years. Neil was a 2017 Word Grant recipient for Jewish artists, a 2016 New Ground Fellow and "Change-Maker" Grant recipient for building relationships between Jews and Muslims, a ground-level Dreamlab Fellow for artists in Jewish education, a Storahtelling Company member for applying theater to ancient texts, the founding Director of Performing Arts at Camp Ramah NorCal, and an adjunct professor of creative writing at American Jewish University. She has served as officiant and cantor at high holiday and shabbat services nationwide, and creates highly personalized and innovative Jewish-based lifecycle rituals for families and individuals seeking deeper meaning and interaction with tradition. She has visited numerous synagogues, universities and camps as a workshop facilitator, scholar and creative artist in residence.
Neil currently works for a TV and film production company in Los Angeles, and is also the author of 3 award-winning children's novels about Yellowstone. She formerly worked as a producer and webcast host for Air America Radio in New York. She plays the ukulele, was trained in opera, and loves to hike and salsa dance.