Jess Wood MBE, B.A. (Hons.), D.S.A. (Oxon), M.Litt. (Oxon) studied Buddhism and Hinduism at Lancaster and Oxford University. In her late twenties, she devoted herself to religious painting.

Following intensive study of the Shoah and the Hebrew Bible, she converted to Judaism. She continues to practice Buddhism. She works part-time as the Strategic Director of Allsorts LGBT Youth Project in Brighton and Hove.

In 2014, she began teaching at the University of Winchester on the Modern Liberal Arts programme. Her modules explore the communion between painting and theology. In Autumn 2015, she embarked on a PhD at Winchester titled: Painting as Visual Theology in the Abrahamic Traditions. She is also an occasional student at the Princes School of Tradition Art, London.

She is married to the writer Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah, rabbi of Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue.