We are proud to introduce our esteemed Rabbi, Rabbi Jan Katz. Rabbi Jan received her ordination from Hebrew Union College in New York City in May 2021. With a diverse background in Jewish education, interfaith dialogue, and community support, Rabbi Jan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our congregation.
Throughout her career, Rabbi Jan’s involvement has centered on relationship-building, advocacy, and support for various communities, including the local Muslim community, Sudanese refugees, homeless families, and the local food distribution network. She has served as the Editor of the Central Conference of American Rabbis Press, which publishes scriptures, prayer books, and books of contemporary Jewish interest.
Rabbi Jan is not only a dedicated spiritual leader but also a loving wife to Rabbi Emeritus Alan Katz of Temple Sinai in Rochester, NY, and a proud mother of three grown children and 12 grandchildren. She is excited to collaborate with our congregation, the Laconia community, and other New Hampshire clergy. Together, we will strive towards Tikkun Olam, acts of lovingkindness towards all.
Visit our website to read Rabbi Katz’s inspiring sermons and learn more about our mission of making a positive impact in the world.
The ordination of Rabbi Sally J. Priesand in 1972 was a watershed moment in Jewish history. InÂ The First Fifty Years, contributors from across the Jewish and gender spectrums reflect on the meaning of this moment and the ensuing decades, both personally and for the Jewish community. In short pieces of new prose, authors–many of them pioneering rabbis–share stories, insights, analysis, and celebrations of women in the rabbinate. These are intertwined with a wealth of poetry that poignantly captures the spirit of this anniversary. The volume is a deep, heartfelt tribute to women rabbis and their indelible impact on all of us.
Rabbi Jan was honored to be included in the anthology with the following statement.
A Metaphor of Holiness No Longer!
Rabbi Jan Katz
Da lifnei mi atah omeidâ€”â€œKnow before whom you stand!â€ This is the phrase emblazoned over the ark in many a synagogue,Â reminding us that we should be filled with respectful awe in the presence of God. Although not a feature of the exquisite holy ark in Temple Emanu-El, the site of rabbinic ordination for graduates of HUC-JIR in New York, these words were palpable and real for me at the moment of my ordination on May 2, 2021 / 20 Iyar 5781, at the age of seventy-three years. Standing at right angles to the ark,
with Godâ€™s presence at my side, I faced provost Rabbi Andrea Weiss. In that moment, images flashed of all the gender barriers, innuendos, and challenges that Rabbi Weiss assuredly overcame to enable me to soar through rabbinical school in a perceived reality of equal access and respect. In that moment, I was simultaneously proud and humbled to live the dream of ordination by another woman and cherished teacher. Reflected in Rabbi Weissâ€™s face were the brave women who paid forward to me their own scholarship, voices, and resilience during my four-year tenure at HUC-JIR, among them Rabbi Wendy Zierler, PhD, Dr. Sharon Koren, Rabbi Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, PhD, and my home rabbi and mentor, Rabbi Debbi Till.
In that moment, I was open, receptive, and alertâ€”feeling loved, called, and connected.Â I was in Godâ€™s presence.
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