Jewish Women on the Map - Temple Beth Israel, Victoria, Australia
Karen Soria was born and ordained in the United States, before becoming the first female rabbi to serve in Australia. She graduated from the HUC-JIR Reform Jewish seminary in 1981. She moved to Australia, serving congregations in Melbourne from 1981 to 1989. In 1992, Rabbi Soria broke another barrier when she became the first female rabbi to serve in the U.S. Marines and the second to serve in the U.S. Navy, a position she held until 2003. In 2008, she became spiritual leader of Temple Shalom in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She scored yet another first in 2009 when she became the first female rabbi in the Canadian Forces; she was assigned to the 3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. In 2011, HUC-JIR awarded Karen Soria an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.