Rabbi and Director of Education Jessica Locketz

Rabbi Jessica E. Locketz is the 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. She serves as the Educational Leader of the Torah Center religious school and is part of the Leadership Team behind the newly formed J-Line South Hills, a learning opportunity for all Jewish teens in the South Hills.  She is also a part of the Beit Midrash adult education committee.  She spends time with students in the ECDC, leads monthly First Friday Shabbat services and Young Family Shabbat and holiday experiences.  She facilitates Teen High Holy Day services and leads the Family Kol Nidre Service.  She also assists 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 a board member of the Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh and the Association of Reform Jewish Educators, a national professional organization.  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.  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 Movement) remaining 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.  Upon ordination, she served as associate rabbi at Rodef Shalom in Pittsburgh and at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia before returning to Pittsburgh in 2004 to join the Temple Emanuel Family.  Rabbi Locketz recently received her masters of arts in religious education and was awarded the highly coveted distinction of Reform Jewish Educator (RJE).

Rabbi Locketz and her husband live in Upper St. Clair with their two sons, Eitan and Ezra.

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