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After graduating with a double major in mechanical engineering and Jewish studies, Heather Stoltz ’00 worked as a mechanical engineer for two years. Sensing that this was not her true path, she attended Jewish Theological Seminary and obtained a master’s degree in Jewish women’s studies.

A final project in one of Stoltz’s courses inspired her to create two quilted wall hangings based on the creation stories.

“I enjoyed the project so much that I also did my thesis in fabric and, after graduating, I started a web-based business to pursue this new passion,,” she says.

Each of Stoltz’s creations tells a story that helps people look at something familiar in a new way.

“Most, but not all, of my work is inspired by Jewish sources and takes the form of quilted wall hangings,” she says. “I love to create pieces based on the Hebrew Bible and liturgy, but also enjoy the challenge of working on commissioned pieces, sparked by the client’s needs and desires. I also create baby quilts that can be used at a bris or baby naming and challah covers.”

A former president of Hillel, Stoltz lives in Woodbridge, Conn. She works part-time as coordinator of ritual services for a conservative synagogue and is a tutor in math and physics. She says her role as Hillel president helped her to develop leadership, organizational, and interpersonal skills “that are essential to my current work at the synagogue as well as everything else in life.”

Because the quilting business has not yet become profitable, Stoltz is looking for a full-time job in the Jewish community in the northeast United States.

“I am ready to take the next step in my journey, bringing with me all of the skills and experiences I have collected along the way,” she says.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles