Our Teaching Rabbi, Rabbi Diane Elliot
Diane received her B.A. summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Michigan in 1971, with a major in American Culture, emphasis in the arts. Trained as a dancer, actress and choreographer, Diane has received numerous grants and fellowships for her creative work and has taught and performed throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada, France, and Hungary. She began studying Bonnie Cohen’s Body-Mind Centering® work in 1977 and has maintained a private somatic movement therapy practice for nearly twenty years, first in Minneapolis and, from 1998-2006, in San Diego and Los Angeles. Diane serves on the faculty of the School for Body-Mind Centering® in Amherst, Mass., and is an innovator in creative process work, having helped develop the therapeutic ritual-performance modality, "active witness." As a therapist she has specialized in working with survivors of trauma, and people living with chronic illness.
As a teacher, she seeks to create safe, supportive environments in which people can deeply explore their inner landscapes, cultivating new ease and joy through the re-integration of mind, body, and emotions. A spiritual seeker and student of Judaism since her youth, Diane has been mentored by Rabbis David Wolfe-Blank z"l, Shefa Gold, Andrea Cohen-Kiener, and Wayne Dosick. She entered the rabbinic training program at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a trans-denominational seminary in Los Angeles, as a member of its first class in March, 2000. In 2006, she was awarded her Masters of Rabbinical Studies and ordained as a rabbi through the Academy.
She has taught embodiment work at Jewish Renewal retreats, including Ruach ha-Aretz and the ALEPH (Alliance for Jewish Renewal) bi-annual Kallot, and in 2001 helped Peter Pitzele create the Festival of Miriam, an in-depth exploration of the Miriam archetype through movement, drumming, chant, and bibliodrama, at Elat Chayyim, the Jewish retreat center in upstate New York . A longtime student of Vipassana (insight) meditation, Diane completed the Meditation Leadership Training through Elat Chayyim with Rabbis Jeff Roth and Sheila Peltz Weinberg. In San Diego she was a member and co-leader of Shir ha-Yam, a Jewish Renewal havurah and served as rabbinic assistant to R. Wayne Dosick at The Elijah Minyan. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in July, 2006, to expand her rabbinical and healing work and to be with her partner, Rabbi Burt Jacobson.
At the present time, Rabbi Diane offers courses and spiritual direction to The Aquarian Minyan and conducts occasional services. In 20011 she offered a seminar on Being with God, and another on Plunging into the Liturgy of Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank, which dealt with the work of a visionary rabbi associated with The Aquarian Minyan who died young and left a body of work for us to study.