Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman has been hired to serve as the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation's Western Region Director. She is the first rabbi to hold the position since 1996. Rabbi Litman was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1989. During her student years, she was an intern in Los Angeles organizing Reconstructionist havurot in the San Fernando Valley. One of those havurot recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary. Since graduation, Rabbi Litman has served four California synagogues ranging in size from eighty to two thousand families. She also taught at California State University Northridge and Loyola Marymount.
Her particular field of interest is moral education for diverse families. She is the editor, with Rabbi Debra Orenstein, of the award winning Lifecycles anthology. Her recent work on gender expression appears in New Jewish Feminism by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein. Rabbi Litman is active in social justice work. In addition to her new position at JRF, she is the Rabbinic Co-chair of the Northern California Progressive Jewish Alliance and sits on the executive board of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice.
Rabbi Litman, who began her work with JRF in November, expressed excitement about her new position with the Reconstructionist movement. "Reconstructionist congregations and havurot tend to be mission driven and care deeply about the values that inform their affiliation" she said. "It is very fulfilling as a rabbi to be working with people who care about Jewish ethics and traditions."
Rabbi Litman resides in the San Francisco Bay area, home to two Reconstructionist congregations that have recently affiliated with the Reconstructionist movement -- Or Shalom Jewish Community in San Francisco, and Or Zarua Havurah in Berkeley.