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Jewesses with Attitude

Celebrating Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, the first woman Reconstructionalist rabbi

Thirty-six years ago today, Sandy Eisenberg Sasso was ordained as the first female Reconstructionist rabbi by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) in Philadelphia on May 19, 1974.

Sandy Sasso's ordination came only 2 years after Sally Priesand's, who is known as the first woman rabbi and was ordained in the Reform movement. As some of the first women in a rabbinical role, the Jewish community looked to leaders like Priesand and Sasso for guidance on women's issues and women's roles. As a result, Sandy Sasso became one of the first voices of feminist Judaism.

Sonia Sarah Lipsyc, scholar-in-residence and director of Aleph CSUQ in Montreal, and Abigail Hirsch, AskAbigail Productions, have been conducting a series of interviews on contemporary Jewish feminists. Abigail Hirsch shared the following clips from an interview with Rabbi Sasso with us. On the 36th anniversary of her ordination, I thought I would share them with you.

The first video, an introduction to the interview series, has disabled embedding so you can view it on Youtube. The second video is below. All are translated in both English and French.

The third interview video, about Sandy Sasso's role as an author of children's books, can be viewed here.

How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "Celebrating Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, the first woman Reconstructionalist rabbi." 19 May 2010. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on October 22, 2016) <>.


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