SPARK – Jewish Feminism Transformed Judaism
2 Lake Street, San Francisco, CA
How Jewish Feminists Transformed Judaism… and American Culture with Rabbi Jane Litman.
All four non-Orthodox denominations (Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Renewal) are now headed by women. This would have been unimaginable forty years ago, and thought unlikely even ten years ago. Over the course of one generation, Jewish life and practice have changed dramatically to include women’s voices and perceptions, allowing for more creative and flexible Jewish observance for both men and women. At the same time, Jewish women have brought a unique vision of empowerment to American culture as a whole. Jewish values such as education, free speech, tolerance, and hard work have produced Jewish women Supreme Court Justices, politicians, writers, filmmakers, artists and intellectuals whose ideas have inspired mainstream society.
Rabbi Jane Litman directs the Jewish Roundtable at the Pacific School of Religion. Prior to this position, she was the Senior Congregational Consultant of the Reconstructionist Movement advising over one hundred congregations in North America. She has been on the faculty of American Jewish University, California State University Northridge, and Loyola Marymount University. She has been on the faculty of American Jewish University, California State University Northridge, and Loyola Marymount University. Rabbi Litman is the Rabbinic co-chair of the Progressive Jewish Alliance and on the executive committee of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. She was the Rabbi of gay outreach congregations Kol Simcha and Sha’ar Zahav, and is an authority on moral education for diverse families, consulting with numerous Jewish institutions, the Metropolitan Community Churches, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the National Council of Churches on the subject. Widely published in the fields of Jewish women's history, gender theory, and contemporary theology, Rabbi Litman edited the award winning Lifecycles 2: Jewish Women on Scripture in Contemporary Life with Rabbi Debra Orenstein. Rabbi Litman enjoys gardening, river rafting, and Japanese art. She lives in Berkeley with her partner, Stewart Schwartz.