On the Map


Jewish Women on the Map - Ray Frank Rosh Hashana Sermon, Spokane Opera House, 1890


Ray Frank Rosh Hashana Sermon, Spokane Opera House, 1890 Spokane, WA
United States

"At five o'clock that afternoon, a special edition of the Spokane Falls Gazette announced that "a young lady" would preach to Spokane's Jews that evening at the Opera House. Intrigued, the townspeople--Christians as well as Jews--flocked to the theater. Frank did not herself conduct the service; a woman preaching from the pulpit on the High Holidays was extraordinary enough in the late nineteenth century. But the impassioned sermon she delivered after the service made a deep impression on the audience. Speaking on "The Obligations of a Jew as Jew and Citizen," she entreated her listeners—for their own sake and that of their children—to overcome the differences between Reform and Orthodox ritual and to form a permanent congregation. A Christian man in the audience was so deeply inspired by Frank's words that, at the conclusion of the service, he offered to donate land for the construction of a synagogue.

For more, read: Woman of Valor - Ray Frank - The Maiden in the Temple

The image shown is an engraving of the "Auditorium Theater in Spokane, Washington, believed to be the "Opera House" where Ray Frank first preached."
A lesson plan based on this sermon is available from "Go and Learn: Ray Frank's Yom Kippur Sermon, 1890

History happened here (strike, speech, event, etc.)
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Submitted by

Ari Davidow

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ray Frank Rosh Hashana Sermon, Spokane Opera House, 1890." (Viewed on April 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/onthemap/ray-frank-rosh-hashana-sermon-spokane-opera-house-1890>.