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Ray Frank

Ray Frank

Ray Frank paved the way for women to serve as rabbis with her passionate and incisive preaching.

Ray Frank's Yom Kippur Sermon, 1890

Ray Frank (1861-1948), called the "Girl Rabbi of the Golden West," became the first Jewish woman to preach formally from a pulpit in 1890, when she delivered sermons for the High Holy Days in Spokane, WA. Although the language of her Yom Kippur sermon may sound old fashioned, Frank's message remains both relevant and compelling.

Women of Valor: Jewish Heroes Across Time

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Fall Donor Spotlight

This fall, JWA is recognizing the contributions of three very different donors.

Lessons from "A Lay Sermon by a Young Lady"

One hundred and twenty years ago today, Ray Frank delivered a historic sermon on what was the first night of Rosh Hashanah in Spokane, Washington. Ray Frank, featured in JWA's Women of Valor exhibit, is one of those "complicated" heroines.

Ray Frank

Ray Frank's position in American Jewry was truly a novel one. In 1890, she became the first Jewish woman to preach formally from a pulpit in the United States, inaugurating a career as "the Girl Rabbi of the Golden West" that would help to blaze new paths for women in Judaism. Virtually overnight, Frank became a sensation in the Jewish world, and she would remain so for nearly a decade.

Ray Frank: "Lady Preacher" of the West

One-hundred and nineteen years ago today, Ray Frank became the first Jewish woman to speak from a synagogue pulpit in the United States. Ray Frank's story is particularly intriguing due to its complexity and the questions it raises. This was undoubtedly an important event in American Jewish women's history, but its impact is not straightforward, and thinking of Ray Frank as a heroine of the women's movement is somewhat problematic.

Ray Frank preaches on Rosh Hashanah

September 14, 1890

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Ray Frank became the first Jewish woman to preach formally from a synagogue pulpit in the United States.

Ritual: A Feminist Approach

Because religious praxis involving material objects plays so major a role in Jewish religion, one of the most significant expressions of the creation of feminist Judaism and its influence on the Jewish people is women’s wide-ranging involvement in the full range of ceremonies that exist both within and beyond halakhah.

Rabbis in the United States

Jewish women’s recent entrance to the brotherhood of the rabbinate masks a lengthy history of the question of women’s ordination.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ray Frank." (Viewed on July 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/19201>.

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