Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association names new president


(JTA) — Rabbi Nina Mandel of Pennsylvania has been appointed the new president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.

Mandel’s appointment was announced Monday.

She joins two other women in leading the Reconstructionist movement: Rabbi Danielle Leshaw, the association’s interim executive director, and Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities.

Mandel was nominated for the post at the association’s convention on March 17 in Toronto. She succeeds Rabbi Jason Klein, who was the first openly gay man chosen to head a national rabbinical association of one of the major Jewish denominations in the United States.

She leads Congregation Beth El in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and also teaches classes in Jewish philosophy and culture, women’s studies, diversity studies and Jewish film at Susquehanna University.

Mandel was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2003. She holds a master’s degree in anthropology from New York University.

“I am always aware I am standing before an association made up of smart, committed rabbis,” Mandel said in a statement. “We know that no matter where or how we serve, our commitment to the Jewish people is essential to our rabbinate. We have a communal responsibility to the future of those Jewish people who look to us as representatives, as teachers, and as guides.”

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