Position: Rabbi

Rabbi Janet Madden Ph.D is a four-time fellowship recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a graduate of Kol Zimra Sacred Chant and a certified Jewish Spiritual Director. She has served as Rabbi to the Progressive Jewish community in Poland while also lecturing on Jewish texts and literature at a number of Polish universities. A GreenFaith Fellow, she has published in areas that range from literary critical studies to ritual and environmental studies. She is a member of the Jewish Burial Society of Southern California and, post-ordination, has earned four units of Clinical Pastoral Education, She serves as Visiting Rabbi at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica CA, as a Spiritual Care Counselor for Skirball Hospice and as the Rabbi of Temple Havurat Emet. She teaches in AJR-CA’s Spiritual Development Program and serves both as a Dayan and a member of the Board of Directors of the Sandra Caplan Community Bet Din.


  • Baby Naming Ceremonies
  • Bereavement Counseling
  • Chevra Kaddisha/Post-Death Ritual
  • Conversion Classes
  • Dedications & New Home Blessings
  • Funerals, Memorial Services & Unveilings
  • Hospice Chaplaincy
  • Hospital Chaplaincy
  • Public Speaking
  • Senior Living Programming
  • Spiritual Counseling/Spiritual Direction
  • Teaching/Education
  • Visiting the Sick/Bikkur Cholim
  • Weddings
  • Writing/Editing


Other Specializations:
1. Spiritual Practices connected to Judaism and the Environment (Greenfaith Fellow)
2. Creating Rituals for Unique Events

Thesis Title:

Regarded by some as a text suitable for children and generally translated as “Song of the Animals,” Perek Shirah is in fact a ancient text of mysterious origin in which elements of the natural world sing praises to their Creator. Uniquely relevant to the environmental issues of our time, Perek Shirah is a little-known and little-studied work that reveals Judaism’s deep connection to nature. Mircea Eliade proposes the term “hierophany” to describe “something sacred [that] shows itself to us.” Eliade’s term aptly describes the way in which Perek Shirah reveals and highlights the everyday miracles of our world, offering its human audience the opportunity to look beyond itself and giving it the opportunity to see every aspect of the natural world with new and heightened awareness of its holiness. In doing so, Perek Shirah provides the framework for what Arthur Green identifies as “Our task as religious persons,”—which is “not to offer counterscientific explanations for the origin of life. Our task is to notice, to pay attention to, the incredible wonder of it all, and to find God in that moment of paying attention.”

Email: rabbijanet@gmail.com