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Paula Ackerman

Paula Ackerman

After the death of her rabbi husband, Paula Ackerman took over leadership of their congregation with the enthusiastic support of her community.

Death of Paula Ackerman, “America’s first Lady Rabbi”

January 12, 1989

The congregation president wrote of Paula Ackerman, "she is qualified, and we want her.”

Paula Ackerman becomes "spiritual leader" of Temple Beth Israel of Meridian, Mississippi

December 12, 1950

Paula Ackerman became the interim "spiritual leader" of Temple Beth Israel in Meridian, Mississippi, demonstrating that a woman could serve in a rabbinical role.

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.

Paula Ackerman

At the turn of the twentieth century, a young girl from Pensacola, Florida, named Paula Herskovitz dreamed of one day becoming a medical doctor. Believing that the medical profession was unsuitable for women, her father insisted that she abandon her dream. Yet decades later, she embarked upon a career he no doubt would have found equally unsuitable: she became a spiritual leader.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Paula Ackerman." (Viewed on August 29, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/9986>.

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