Rabbi Janet Ross Marder
Rabbi Janet Marder, a Los Angeles native, graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz and was ordained in 1979 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Following ordination, she pursued graduate studies in the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA, specializing in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish.
In 1983 she became the first ordained rabbi of Beth Chayim Chadashim, a Los Angeles synagogue with special outreach to lesbian and gay Jews. During her five years with that congregation, she founded NECHAMA, a Federation-funded program of AIDS education for the Jewish community .
From 1988 to 1999 Rabbi Marder served the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, providing leadership and guidance to Reform synagogues in Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas.
In August, 1999 she became Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, CA. She has a special interest in creating meaningful, joyous and participatory worship services, and in helping to make Beth Am a warm and welcoming community.
Rabbi Marder’s articles have appeared in Reform Judaism magazine, the Reconstructionist, Sh’ma and several anthologies. She was part of the core editorial team for Mishkan HaNefesh: Machzor for the Days of Awe and contributed to Divrei Mishkan HaNefesh: A Guide to the CCAR Machzor. She is also co-editor of Mishkan HaLev: Prayers for S'lichot and the Month of Elul, a companion prayerbook to Mishkan HaNefesh. She has served as President of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, the first woman and the first non-congregational rabbi to be elected to that office. In 2003, she became President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the national Reform rabbinic organization, the first woman to serve in that capacity in the CCAR’s 114-year history.
Rabbi Marder is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, having recently completed a three year course of study through the institute.
She is married to a colleague, Rabbi Sheldon Marder of the Jewish Home in San Francisco, and they are the parents of two daughters, Betsy and Rachel.
Read Rabbi Janet Marder's interview with CCAR Press about her role in creating the new Reform machzor:
CCAR Press works include: