Associate Rabbi and Director of Education Jessica Locketz
Rabbi Jessica E. Locketz is the Associate Rabbi and Director of Education of Temple Emanuel. She has been a part of the Temple family since July 2004.
Rabbi Locketz oversees family and youth programming, serves as educator and leader of the Torah Center religious school and the newly formed South Hills Community High School. She also coordinates the youth groups and adult education. She spends time with the preschool students, leads monthly Torah for Tots and Torah Growers services, facilitates Teen High Holy Day services, and looks to engage with Temple members of all ages. Rabbi Locketz also assists Senior Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler with the many pastoral duties of the congregation.
In the Jewish community, Rabbi Locketz is a member of Hadassah, the National Council of Jewish Women, and PAJE (the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Educators), for which she serves as one of its co-chairs. She is also a member of the Hillel-JUC board. She is a past board member of NATE — the National Association of Temple Educators. She has served on both the Post B’nei Mitzvah Task Force of the Union of Reform Judaism’s Joint Commission on Lifelong Jewish Learning and the URJ Congregational School Committee. Rabbi Locketz is active in the Young Adult and Women’s Divisions of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. She is also an alumna of the STAR PEER (Synagogues Transformation and Renewal Professional Excellence in Education for Rabbis) Program.
In the general community, Rabbi Locketz has been involved with the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh and the Community Food Bank. She is a graduate of the Leadership Development Initiative, a program designed to enhance leadership skills and create connections among young people within the larger Pittsburgh community. She is also a past board member of SHIM (South Hills Interfaith Ministry), and remains involved with its Holocaust observance committee.
Rabbi Locketz was ordained at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati in June 1999. As a student rabbi, she served Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, Illinois, Temple Beth El in Beckley, West Virginia, Temple Israel in Paducah, Kentucky, and Etz Chaim in Lombard, Illinois. She recently returned to her alma mater as a participant in the Executive Masters of Religious Education Program and graduated in May 2016.
Upon ordination, she served as associate rabbi at Rodef Shalom in Pittsburgh and afterwards at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia. In February of 2004, she married Larry Schwartz and returned to Pittsburgh to become part of the Temple Emanuel family. The couple resides in Upper St. Clair and have two sons, Eitan and Ezra.
Rabbi Locketz enjoys playing her guitar, taking long walks, riding her bicycle, reading good books, meeting new people, and taking time to explore all that Pittsburgh has to offer.
412-279-7600, extension 203
“I believe that Jewish education is the key to helping Jews live Jewish lives. It is so rewarding to be with a student whose interest is piqued. I love watching an idea penetrate and take hold – bearing witness to a new connection to Judaism taking root. For me teaching is a sacred task. It creates moments of holiness. I look forward to creating such moments together.”
— Rabbi Jessica Locketz