Rabbi Elwell was the founding Director of the Los Angeles Jewish Feminist Center and first rabbinic Director of Ma’yan. Rabbi Elwell served the Union for Reform Judaism working with lay leaders and clergy to create and sustain healthy, inclusive, vibrant, and open-hearted communities and congregations. She served as a congregational rabbi in California, New Jersey, and Virginia, and taught at the University of Cincinnati, University of California, Los Angeles, LaSalle University and the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. She is the editor of several books, among them The Open Door: A Passover Haggadah, published by CCAR Press in 2002. She also contributed to various publications, such as The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic (CCAR Press, 2011), Lights in the Forest: Rabbis Respond to Twelve Essential Jewish Questions (CCAR Press, 2014), and The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate (CCAR Press, 2016).
Rabbi Elwell currently serves as Scholar in Residence at Washington Hebrew Congregation, and lives in Philadelphia with her wife Nurit Shein, CEO of The Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia’s pre-eminent LGBT health center.