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Rabbis

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.

Sally Priesand and Colleagues, Europe

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Rabbi Sally Priesand (center) and colleagues, on their trip through Europe to commemorate Regina Jonas. From JWA's documentary "In the Footsteps of Regina Jonas"
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Candle.jpg

Rabbi Sally Priesand (center) and colleagues, on their trip through Europe to commemorate Regina Jonas. From JWA's documentary "In the Footsteps of Regina Jonas"

Ray Frank Litman, 1923, Cropped

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Journalist Ray Frank made her name as a "latter-day Rebecca." She was the first Jewish woman to preach from the pulpit in America and was known for her ability to bring feuding Jewish religious factions together. This photograph was taken in 1923.
Institution: American Jewish Historical Society
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JWA use only on jwa.org
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American Jewish Historical Society
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Ray Frank cropped

Journalist Ray Frank made her name as a "latter-day Rebecca." She was the first Jewish woman to preach from the pulpit in America and was known for her ability to bring feuding Jewish religious factions together. This photograph was taken in 1923.

Institution: American Jewish Historical Society

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Icons for the New Year: Ray Frank

While seeking stories of transformation this holiday season, most of the tales that have caught my attention involved women who exchanged quiet domestic lives for active involvement in the public sphere. Ray Frank did the opposite: she swapped her life as a trailblazing Jewish leader for one away from the spotlight.

Ruth Kullman on Mourning for her City after Hurricane Katrina

Ruth Kullman remembers a surprisingly insightful rabbi who understood she was in mourning for her city after Hurricane Katrina.

Ruth Kullman remembers a surprisingly insightful rabbi who understood she was in mourning for her city after Hurricane Katrina.

Rabbi Tziona Szajman, Timothy Olivieri, and Daughter Eliyana

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Rabbi Tziona Szajman, her husband Timothy Olivieri, and their daughter Eliyana Bracha Nuhamin Olivieri.
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JWA use only on jwa.org

Rabbi Tziona Szajman, her husband Timothy Olivieri, and their daughter Eliyana Bracha Nuhamin Olivieri.

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Ray Frank's Yom Kippur Sermon (Modified by Jonah Hassenfeld)

This excerpt was modified by Jonah Hassenfeld from the original document and a longer excerpt of Ray Frank’s Yom Kippur Sermon “A Lay Sermon by a Young Lady” published in American Hebrew, October 1890.

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JWA use only on jwa.org
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modified-frank-sermon-for-web

This excerpt was modified by Jonah Hassenfeld from the original document and a longer excerpt of Ray Frank’s Yom Kippur Sermon “A Lay Sermon by a Young Lady” published in American Hebrew, October 1890.

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.

Deborah Waxman, 2013

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Rabbi Deborah Waxman in 2013.

Image courtesy of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College via Wikimedia Commons.

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Rabbi Deborah Waxman in 2013.

Image courtesy of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College via Wikimedia Commons.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rabbis." (Viewed on February 8, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/rabbis>.

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