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Rabbi

Toba Spitzer

Toba Spitzer became the first openly gay head of a rabbinic organization in 2007 when she became president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.

Deborah Brin

Deborah Brin, one of the first openly gay rabbis, led the first prayer service for Women of the Wall at the Conference for the Empowerment of Jewish Women in 1988.

Deborah Waxman

In 2014, Rabbi Deborah Waxman became the first woman (and first lesbian) to simultaneously lead both a seminary and a congregational organization as head of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities.

Angela Buchdahl

Angela Buchdahl made history as the first Asian-American rabbi and cantor, but it has been her skill with congregants that has fueled her rise to senior rabbi at a prestigious Manhattan synagogue.

Julie Schonfeld

In 2009, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld became the first female leader of an American rabbinical organization, serving as executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly.

Joseph Dov Soloveitchik

As the rosh yeshiva (religious head) of Yeshiva University from 1941–1985 and chief legal decisor for Modern Orthodox Jews in America, Joseph Dov Soloveitchik shaped Jewish practice and public opinion through the era of second-wave feminism.

Mordecai Kaplan

The founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, Mordecai Kaplan struck a fundamental blow for women’s participation in Jewish ritual with the bat mitzvah of his eldest daughter, Judith.

Regina Jonas

Regina Jonas made history as the first woman rabbi after writing a thesis arguing for the halakhic permissibility of women’s ordination.

Laura Geller

As one of the first women rabbis, Laura Geller pushed for women’s greater inclusion in both Jewish liturgy and Jewish leadership.

Sandy Sasso

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso was the first woman rabbi ordained by the Reconstructionist movement, which was one of many firsts in her career.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rabbi." (Viewed on February 8, 2016) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/21867>.

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