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Janet Marder

Janet Marder became the first woman to lead a major rabbinical organization and the first woman to lead any major Jewish co-ed religious organization in the United States. After her ordination by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Marder served as the first ordained rabbi at Congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim in Los Angeles, the first LGBTQ synagogue to be recognized by the Reform movement. There she founded an AIDS education program for the Jewish community called NECHAMA. Marder then became the director of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations Pacific Southwest Council and subsequently became senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, California, one of the largest congregations in the United States to be headed by a woman rabbi. During this time, she became the president of the Reform Movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis. Marder was the first woman to serve in this role in the organization’s history. She is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, Israel. 


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Rabbi Janet Marder

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Janet Marder." (Viewed on December 2, 2020) <https://jwa.org/rabbis/narrators/marder-janet>.


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