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Vista Del Mar Announces Full-Time Rabbi

Jackie Redner--an ordained, conservative rabbi--will serve as Vista Del Mar's first full-time, Rabbi in Residence.
Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services’ President and CEO Dr. Elias Lefferman announces that Jackie Redner —an ordained, conservative rabbi— will serve as the organization’s Rabbi in Residence on a full-time basis.

Vista Del Mar—one of the nation’s largest, most comprehensive care facilities for children and adolescents experiencing social, behavioral, emotional, or developmental challenges—thus becomes the only Los Angeles area agency of its type to employ a full-time rabbi.

Redner— who received her rabbinical training at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University— has been affiliated with Vista since 2006 as a part-time staff member. Commenting on Redner’s expanded role, Lefferman said, “Rabbi Jackie has become such an integral part of our organization, and I’m so pleased that we now will be able to utilize her unique skills—particularly in relation to spirituality and special-needs children—to an even greater extent.”

Redner’s various responsibilities, she heads Nes Gadol, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah training program—that’s part of the Vista Inspire Program (VIP)—for teens with autism and other special needs;a VIP program that she created called the Moses-Aaron Cooperative which pairs teens on the autism spectrum who are nonverbal (but who are able to type their thoughts) with peers who speak their written words. “In this way,” explained Redner, “these teens are able to share the depth of their wisdom with the community and shed light on the nature of their challenges.”

Prior to becoming a rabbi, Redner worked as an occupational therapist and studied process-oriented psychology and multicultural sensitivity for several years. Additionally, she continues to teach a course at the American Jewish University in the Miller Introduction to Judaism program.

For additional information on Vista Del Mar programs: http://www.vistadelmar.org.

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