An early advocate of increased rights and responsibilities for women in Jewish life, Rose Goldstein was a prominent leader in the National Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America (now known as Women’s League for Conservative Judaism), which awarded her its coveted Yovayl [Jubilee] Award in 1968.
Rose Berman was born in Minneapolis to Sarah and Alexander Berman, the only girl in a family of four children that had emigrated from Lithuania in 1892. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, she embarked on graduate study at Columbia University. There, her master’s thesis dealt with the newer Sephardi community of New York. She married Rabbi David Goldstein, a noted graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
As national chair of program and education for the National Women’s League, Goldstein chaired many events and often led prayer services at Women’s League conventions. These responsibilities eventually led to her writing, in 1972, A Time to Pray: A Personal Approach to the Jewish Prayer Book. In an informal yet scholarly style, Goldstein shared with her readers many of the exciting lessons that delighted and informed those who joined her for study and worship over the years. In the book, she refers to experiences in her own life and to ways in which the ancient words helped her to achieve self-understanding. According to the Women’s League Outlook magazine (Spring 1973), “She has confronted the daily prayer book for many years with an open mind and with a seeking soul.”
Goldstein was widely known as an author and educator, and lectured extensively on Jewish worship. Her appearances before young people and adults were marked by lively discussion and searching inquiry. Over the years, as the busy mother of four sons, she held a variety of national and local Jewish posts that reflected her deep concern for Jewish education.
Rose Goldstein died in December 1984.
Goldstein, Rose. National Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America. Proceedings of Biennial Conventions, New York (1950, 1954, 1956); National Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America. Program, Biennial Convention, New York (1952); Outlook (Spring 1973); Seventy-Five Years of Vision and Voluntarism (1992); The Sixth Decade, 1968–1978 (1978); A Time to Pray (1972); WWIAJ (1938).