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 "Let your house be wide open'  

                                                                                     Pirkei Avot  1:5

                                                        (Ethics of our fathers)

MLJC Board of Directors


   Rodger Orman, President

   Tami Rakstad-Schaner, Vice President

    Ron Schaner, Secretary

    Emily Orr, Treasurer


Board Members "at large"

Gwen Diamond

Larry Diamond 

Joanne Madsen Elliott

Judy Miller

Lisa Schwartz


We are a 100% volunteer run, 501c3 nonprofit membership organization.

Our Board of Directors


The Board of Directors is elected annually each June at the annual member meeting, with members serving from July through June. The board, along with other volunteers drawn from our membership, organizes and hosts about 12 events each year.

President’s Message:                         (updated 8/23)


Welcome to the Mother Lode Jewish Community’s website.  


I am one of the founding members from when this havurah was formed back around 1987 and took up the role of president once again just as we entered a unique and trying time in our history.  One of my favorite parts of being in this group was the frequent potlucks and social gatherings that took place during the year, many surrounding the frequent holidays on the Jewish calendar. We shared sometimes hard-to-find Jewish foods together and got to know people from various parts of the Sierra foothills, many of whom settled in this beautiful area after long careers in more urban settings with larger Jewish communities and others raising young families here.  


In recent years the MLJC had also been fortunate to enjoy the services of Rabbi Andra Greenwald, who led us in religious gatherings as well as in study groups, enriching the fabric that binds us as a community. Rabbi Andra has recently stepped down from this role, as her life is taking her in a different direction.  We will miss her and I want to extend my deep appreciation for all she has done for this organization and its members.



COVID-19 and the elements combined to keep a damper on our activities this past year but we did manage to gather for a few events and our new board is beginning to plan a host of events and services for the upcoming year.  We also are welcoming a new Rabbi to our midst, Rabbi Jamie Hyams. A brief bio and her photo appear just below this note.


All Jews and their families are welcome in the MLJC. We have a lot of blended families. What does it mean to be a Jew?  We have recently broadened our by-laws so that our definition now includes lineage either from your mother or your father as well as conversion.  Some of us follow the laws of Kashrut, some are married to a non-Jewish partner, some have converted to Judaism and some consider themselves “secular” Jews.  We all have different ways that we identify as being Jewish, but we unite in celebrating the traditions that bind us as a Jewish community through celebration, ritual, study, and Jewish friendships.   


Welcome to the Mother Lode Jewish Community and we hope to have in person events for Rosh Hashanah, Hannukkah and Passover and more.


La shana tova tikatavu!   May you be inscribed for a good year!


לְשָׁנָה טוֹבָה תִכָּתֵבוּ וְתֵּחָתֵמוּ


Rodger Orman 

President, Mother Lode Jewish Community 

Rabbi Jamie Hyams


Please welcome Rabbi Jamie Hyams, who will be leading the MLJC in services several times this year, beginning with an Erev Rosh Hashanah service on September 15. (see Event tab for details).  

Rabbi Jamie was ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles (AJRCA) and served as the Rabbi at Congregation P’nai Tikvah in Las Vegas.  She is a member of OHALAH, the Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Assembly.  Currently Rabbi Jamie is a rabbi/member of Beth Chaim Congregation, and leads/moderates two Torah study groups.  She is also the Development Director for Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS).


An avid cyclist, she is starting a two-year Clergy Leadership Incubator fellowship which will help her to create a Jewish community whose organizing principle is cycling. 

She and her husband, Michael, live in the Bay area.  They know the Mother Lode area well, “For probably 20 years, Murphy's has been our "go to get-away" on a Sunday afternoon.  


Rabbi Jamie-Hyams.jpg
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