You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Rabbis

Jane Evans

Although she never became a rabbi, Jane Evans, Executive Director of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, became a powerful voice for women’s ordination within the Reform Movement.

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.

Julie Schonfeld

schonfeldsm.jpg
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld.
Courtesy of The Rabbinical Assembly.
Rights
JWA use only on jwa.org

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld.

Courtesy of The Rabbinical Assembly.

Related content:

Joseph Dov Soloveitchik

soloveitchik.jpg
Joseph Dov Soloveitchik
Courtesy of Yeshiva University.
Rights
JWA use only on jwa.org

Joseph Dov Soloveitchik

Courtesy of Yeshiva University.

Related content:

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.

Regina Jonas by Marlis Glaser, 2014

2014_portraitbild_regina_jonas_1902_-_1944.jpg

Portrait of Regina Jonas by Marlis Glaser, 2014. Permission for JWA use from the artist.

Rights
JWA use only on jwa.org
Contributor: Submitter
Benson, Stephen

Portrait of Regina Jonas by Marlis Glaser, 2014. Permission for JWA use from the artist.

Excerpts from the writings of Regina Jonas

The words of Regina Jonas continue to resonate with today’s rabbis. This past summer, at the dedication of a memorial plaque to Regina Jonas at Terezin by the United States Commision for the Preservation of American Heritage Abroad, the first four American women rabbis honored their foremother Regina Jonas by reading the passages from her writings excerpted below.    

Commemorating Rabbi Regina Jonas

This October marks the 70th anniversary of the death of Regina Jonas, the first woman ever ordained as a rabbi. Born in Berlin in 1902, Jonas began talking to friends about her desire to become a rabbi when she was still a teen, and later studied under Eduard Banath, who oversaw ordination for the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, a liberal, nondenominational seminary in Berlin. But when Banath died in 1930, Jonas struggled to find another rabbi willing to ordain her. She argued brilliantly for the possibility of women becoming rabbis and eventually won over Rabbi Max Dienemann, executive director of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis, in 1935.

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.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rabbis." (Viewed on February 13, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/rabbis>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs