Congregation Ruach haMaqom,

'Spirit of the Place'   

Ruach haMaqom provides opportunity for diverse faith traditions to come together in loving community and become a beacon for the healing of our world.

Ruach haMaqom is the first Jewish Renewal congregation in Vermont. Jewish Renewal is a post-denominational form of Judaism that emerged in America in the 1960’s. Renewal combines the joy of traditional Hasidism, the open-mindedness and creativity of the Havurah movement, the socially progressive values of egalitarianism, and the inter-faith dialogue that is the model for contemporary spirituality.

Over a century old, our sanctuary is the oldest synagog in Vermont, stunningly gorgeous, and a historically significant piece of architecture. The sanctuary is located in the heart of the Old North End in Burlington Vermont.  This neighborhood was known as “Little Jerusalem” in the early 20th century. Learn more about our sanctuary and Little Jerusalem in this Vermont PBS documentary.

While channeling an ancient past, Congregation Ruach haMaqom forges the future of an engaged Judaism.  What does the future of your spiritual life look like? Join us and we’ll support you in your ever-evolving and fruitful journey.



R. Jan Salzman, Founder and Rabbi

When she was 16 years old, on a moshav (cooperative farm) in Israel, Rabbi Jan realized that her life’s calling was to connect with the earth in the production of that which sustains us. Later in her  life, when her farm was one of the first to receive Organic certification in Vermont, when she left farming to work as a landscaper, and when she began leading services and teaching, Rabbi Jan knew that her deeper calling was to bring beauty to this world. That spirit - of song, hand, soil, and mind - is what sustains her, and continues to inform her rabbinic work.

Discovering Jewish Renewal was a turning point in Rabbi Jan’s spiritual path.  While raising  two children in rural Vermont, who were the only Jewish kids in the elementary school, Rabbi Jan discovered a way back into her Judaism through Renewal Judaism. The Renewal movement brought life into Judaism by mixing in a post-holocaust perspective,  feminism, deep ecology, mysticism, and the American experience of democracy and freedom from persecution. Since then, she has dedicated her life  to being a ‘midwife’ to others who seek their portal into their Jewish identity, as well as to individuals of other faiths who are engaged in this exploration.

Rabbi Jan Salzman was ordained in 2010 by ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. She served as the Assistant Rabbi and Cantor for 6 years at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington, Vermont.  She was blessed to have been a student of Reb Zalman. Rabbi Jan serves in the capacity of Treasurer on the Board of OHALAH, an international professional  Association of Renewal Rabbis, Cantors and Rabbinic Pastors. She is on the board of Living Tree Alliance located in Moretown Vt, which is an ecologically oriented community that offers co-housing, farming, and educational opportunities. Rabbi Jan has lived in Vermont for over 35 years, is married to her "rebbitzmon",  Loredo Sola, and has two grown children and a grandchild.