In the spring of 2007, the Aquarian Minyan welcomed a new spiritual leader, Rabbi Diane Elliot. Before studying for ordination, Rabbi Diane had a career in the performing arts, performing, dancing, choreographing, and teaching throughout the U.S. and in Europe. In 1981, she began to explore the connections between performance, therapy, and spirituality, eventually becoming certified in Body-Mind Centering®, an innovative movement educational and healing modality. She has maintained a private practice as a somatic movement therapist for more than 20 years. In March, 2000, she became part of the first group of matriculated rabbinic and cantorial students admitted to the newly-formed Academy for Jewish Religion California, a trans-denominational seminary in Los Angeles.
She sees all of her skills and experience as related to her task as a rabbi: "My work has always been about making visible the deep Mystery. Dance helped me open the channels in my body, leading me into a world of healing. The skills I acquired as an artist and healer are the very skills we need to integrate and move on from the depths of our history as Jews. The current upsurge of Jewish renewal, some 50 years after the Holocaust, recalls the renewal of Judaism by the Baal Shem Tov and early Hasidim some fifty years after great 17th century massacres in Poland. My goal is to help us deeply know our mission as Jews and human beings in our own time, and to have all of ourselves available for it"
"The Aquarian Minyan has renewed itself again and again, with new leaders coming from within and without at the just the right moment to catalyze our communal rebirth" said Alter Shoresh Barry Barkan, a current Minyan Council member and co-founder of the Minyan who is an Ashoka Fellow and Co-Director of the Live Oak Institute. "We're excited that at this moment, Rabbi Diane brings just the right mix of energy, wisdom and heart to midwife our entry into our maturity, joining the rabbis and other congregants who have enriched our community."