Mara Nathan (she/her) is the Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth-El in San Antonio, Texas where she has served since 2014. She is the first woman to serve as senior rabbi of a major congregation in the State of Texas. Rabbi Nathan has made community building, social justice, worship innovation and community outreach her main priorities. Previously, Rabbi Nathan served as the Associate Rabbi and Director of Congregational Learning at Larchmont Temple in Larchmont, NY, where she worked in various capacities from 1994-2014. During her almost twenty years of service at Larchmont Temple, she played an instrumental role in all aspects of congregational life including spiritual worship, ritual, and lifelong learning.
Rabbi Nathan was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 2000. She was a recipient of the Steinhardt Fellowship; a scholarship awarded to rabbinical students to further informal education with teens and college age students, and received academic awards for Hebrew, History and Talmudic studies. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history as well as certificates in Jewish studies and women’s studies from Northwestern University in 1993. As a high school student, she studied flute at the Juilliard Conservatory Pre-college Program. Her extensive musical training and experience enables her to incorporate her voice, flute and guitar into her service leading and other programs.
Rabbi Nathan has served on the board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and most recently served as co-chair for the CCAR Chief Executive Search Committee. She is a member of the Women’s Rabbinic Network and has served on the faculty of URJ’s Greene Family Camp in Bruceville, Texas and Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
Rabbi Nathan and her husband Larry have three children: Isaac, Solomon and Miriam.