Linda Holtzman is Rabbinic Formation Specialist at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She is is the organizer of Tikkun Olam Chavurah, a group that pursues social justice work together as a community. She is the former rabbi of Congregation Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia, where she had previously served as interim rabbi and as education director. In earlier years, she served as the Director of Practical Rabbinics at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Temple University, her bachelor of arts in Hebrew letters from Gratz College, and her rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1979. Upon ordination, she became the rabbi of Beth Israel Congregation in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, the first woman to be a solo rabbi in a synagogue affiliated with the Conservative Movement in Judaism. She also served for many years as the part-time rabbi for Philadelphia’s LGBT synagogue, Beth Ahava. In 2003-2004, she was interim rabbi at Reconstructionist Congregation Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia, where she had served as education director from 1994 to 1999. She is the founder of the Reconstructionist Hevrah Kadishah (burial society).
Holtzman is the author of a chapter in Twice Blessed: On Being Lesbian or Gay and Jewish, ed. Christie Balka and Andy Rose (Beacon Press, 1989), "Jewish Lesbian Parenting" as well as the article "Struggle, Change and Celebration: My Life as a Lesbian Rabbi" in Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation, edited by Rebecca T. Alpert, Sue Levi Elwell and Shirley Idelson (Rutgers University Press, 2000). She is married to Betsy Conston, with whom she has raised two sons, Jordan and Zachary Holtzman-Conston.
(This biographical statement provided by Linda Holtzman.)
Biography Date: August, 2006
Jewish (Reconstructionist) | Alpert, Rebecca | Author/editor | Clergy Activist