She was born in Los Angeles, and was ordained in New York in 1979 at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, a Reform seminary. She became the first ordained rabbi of Beth Chayim Chadashim (the world’s first gay and lesbian synagogue recognized by Reform Judaism) in 1983. While there she founded NECHAMA, an AIDS-education program for the Jewish community. In 1988, she became the assistant director of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations Pacific Southwest Council, where she worked for eleven years, eventually becoming director. In 1999, she became the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, California.