!ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُم I was born in New Jersey, but grew up in Dallas Texas (I am a Green Bay Packers fan—long story), my NBA allegiance is generally more location-fluid, currently Lakers and Clippers, I know! I have lived all over the US, except for the Midwest. I have traversed the globe for personal and professional explorations, including studying abroad in Istanbul and Oman. I was not into religion or spirituality in my more nascent years. It was during college that I went to Mecca for ‘Umrah (mini-Ḥajj) and experienced a salient connection with the Divine. I was in an Islamic “Super Saiyan” mode, but I did not have a strong Muslim support system or spiritual guide to model the application of being Muslim in America, which effectively motivated me to become a chaplain. My purpose then evolved to spiritually connecting people of all backgrounds. I am super into comics and general nerdy stuff-but in a cool way, (I have limits people). I love engaging in a (halal-ish) life of holistic wellness participating in a myriad of physical and mindful activities including Wing Chun (詠春) Kung Fu. You can find me across the 7Cs at the gyms, dining halls, campus specific social events, and of course at the McAlister interfaith center. The focus of my work is the intersectionality (coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw) of spirituality and social justice. I advise various interfaith and cross-cultural student groups and try my best to convince students, spirituality is cool and to “be excellent to each other.”
I am a journalist and media producer as well as a priest. After studies at Catholic University and American University in Washington, DC and Arizona State University, I began my television career at PBS in Washington, DC and then with ABC News, NBC News and CBS-TV in New York where I anchored and produced television programs and a weekly series on the NBC Radio Network. I later moved to London, England where I continued producing programs for the BBC and ITV. I produced interfaith programs in consultation with the major faith groups in the USA. I have a PH.D in theology and American history and an M.A. in journalism. I have ministered as parish priest and seminary professor in addition to my media projects and I am a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA, LA. I have many fine friends in the entertainment industry.
Rabbi Hannah Elkin was ordained as a rabbi by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles in 2021. While at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Hannah
also received a Masters of Jewish Education, worked as a teaching assistant at USC’s Louchheim School for Judaic Studies, and served as a spiritual counselor at Beit T’Shuvah, a Jewish-based addiction recovery center in Los Angeles. Before attending rabbinical school, she earned a bachelor’s in Religious Studies from Middlebury College and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School.
Rabbi Hannah is excited to take on her new role and join the interfaith Chaplaincy at The Claremont Colleges. She looks forward to joining and serving a community of bright and thoughtful students, dedicated and passionate administrators, and highly respected faculty. Her initial goals are to meet and begin to build relationships with the campus community, as well as offer emotional and spiritual support to students as they transition from the virtual campus to the physical. Rabbi Hannah is passionate about making Judaism relevant and personally meaningful to Jews of all backgrounds. Email
Rev. Dr. Naima Lett
I love helping folks find their purpose and follow their dreams while deepening their faith, so I am thrilled and honored to join The Claremont Colleges family and the Interfaith Chaplaincy. I look forward to creating safe spaces of support that make your journey easier as you make your way back to campus and discover a new normal. I am here to serve the Protestant campus community through outreach, worship services, pastoral counseling, community building and facilitation of other programs and events. I am excited about hearing your needs and finding ways to bring our incredibly diverse community together.
My life has been a series of adventures and intersections of faith, the arts and education. I currently co-pastor with my husband Kevin a wonderful church plant of dream chasers and dream makers in Beverly Hills called Hope in the Hills. We co-founded the 40|50 Project to heal our nations racial divide through faith communities, as well as Lett’s Rise Productions to create inspirational content. I have loved working as a producer, writer and professional actor (SAG AFTRA AEA) with credits in television, film and theatre.
Academically, I graduated from Howard University, Summa Cum Laude, with a BFA in Theatre Arts (Acting) after securing a full National Competitive Scholarship. As an undergraduate, I also studied at the University of Southern California as a Theatre exchange student. As a postgraduate, I performed classical and Shakespearian theatre at the British American Drama Academy at Oxford University in England. I earned Dallas Theological Seminary’s first Masters in Media and Communications, and became Biola University’s first female with a Doctor of Ministry degree in Preaching.
You can find me here at McAlister or under these Tents on Tenth, across campus and online. I look forward to meeting and getting to know you better. I’ll likely ask what’s cool that you dig about yourself. I’ll start: I practice the disciplines of prayer and fasting often, but I have yet to meet a slice of vegan cheesecake that I don’t love. :=) Email