Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan

Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan was born in Jerusalem. She grew up in a Zionist Orthodox family and is a descendent of a long line of Lithuanian Rabbis on her mother's side. She studied law at the Hebrew University but decided not to work in the field – instead she immersed herself in Torah studies at the Hartman and Pardes Institutes in Jerusalem.

Always a spiritual seeker, Ruth became involved in interfaith activities that led her to representing Judaism at various international forums as well as being amongst the first Israelis to travel and study in India and Nepal.

In the late Eighties she married Dr. Michael Kagan, author of the Holistic Haggadah, and together they were part of the first wave of New Age activists in Israel. Ruth and Michael's main interest became the renewal of Judaism and together they taught classes and workshops in Israel and around the world.

In the Nineties Ruth met Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement, and became one of  his closest students. Reb Zalman initiated her into a rabbinical ordination path. In 2003 Ruth received smicha (rabbinical ordination) from Reb Zalman through the Aleph Rabbinical Seminary, of which she is nowa member of the faculty.

In 2006 she published, together with Reb Zalman, "Jewish Renewal – Integrating Heart and World" (Kirvat Elohim, Yediot Achronot) the first book in Hebrew describing the principles and practice of Jewish Renewal for the Israeli readership.

Reb Ruth teaches classes and workshops in Jewish Spirituality in Israel and around the world . She is the founder and spiritual leader of Nava Tehila  She also works as a Mashpiah – spiritual director - with individuals who seek to build a more intimate relationship with the Divine.

Reb Ruth is a mother of four and a proud grandmother of two.
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