Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community

Rayna Aylward

Rayna is one of “founding parents” of Kol Ami, having been part of the Northern Virginia chavurah that evolved into the congregation in 2000. She also served as Kol Ami president in 2013-2014.  Her religious background is a high-contrast hybrid, with a Jewish atheist mother and a father who had been a Catholic priest.  A post-college trip to Israel sparked her interest in exploring her Jewish heritage, and eventually Reconstructionism spoke to her Jewish soul.  The journey culminated in her Adult Bat Mitzvah in May 2020.

Rayna’s career spanned teaching English around the world, representing the US as a diplomat in South America and the Middle East, heading a corporate foundation, and serving as a Presidential appointee under President Obama.  Since retiring from the government, she serves on the boards of several nonprofits, and at Kol Ami, she co-chairs the Care & Concern/Inclusion Committee.

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