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Rabbis

Sally Priesand

Sally J. Priesand, America’s first female rabbi, was ordained in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 3, 1972, by Dr. Alfred Gottschalk, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR).

Sharon Kleinbaum

Sharon Kleinbaum has been Senior Rabbi of New York City’s Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (CBST) since 1992. Under her leadership, CBST has become an important voice in Judaism, in the world-wide discourse on the nature of religious community, and in the movement to secure basic civil rights for gay people everywhere.

Francine Klagsbrun

Francine Klagsbrun is an author, editor, and columnist, who often writes and lectures on women’s issues. Her column, “Thinking Aloud,” appears monthly in The Jewish Week, and she has contributed articles to such national publications as the New York Times and Newsday.

Paula Hyman

Paula E. Hyman, a founding member of Ezrat Nashim, was the Lucy Moses Professor of Modern Jewish History at Yale University and president of the American Academy of Jewish Research. She also served as the first female dean of the Seminary College of Jewish Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Lynn Gottlieb

Lynn Gottlieb entered pulpit life at the age of 23 in 1973, as rabbi to Temple Beth Or of the Deaf in New York City. In 1981, she became the first woman ordained in the Jewish Renewal Movement. Gottlieb's creativity, peace and justice activism, feminism, and focus on spiritual meaning helped shape the Jewish Renewal Movement.

Sue Levi Elwell

Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell has been teaching and writing about Jewish women’s history and feminist spirituality for the past 20 years. The Founding Director of the American Jewish Congress Feminist Center in Los Angeles,

Amy Eilberg

Rabbi Amy Eilberg is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She was a co-founder of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, where she directed the Jewish Hospice Care Program.

Dianne Cohler-Esses

Dianne Cohler-Esses is the first woman from the Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn to become a rabbi, ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in 1995. She currently serves as Scholar In Residence at UJA Federation in New York.

Nina Beth Cardin

Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin is the Director of Jewish Life at the JCC of Greater Baltimore. Ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1988, Rabbi Cardin then served the Seminary in numerous capacities, including Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Special Assistant to the Chancellor and Visiting Lecturer in Theology. Rabbi Cardin is also Editor of Sh'ma: a journal of Jewish responsibility.

More Than Just The Celebration of One Woman: Rabbi Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl

Usually, I’m a bit of a skeptic about the transformative power of women’s leadership. I don’t believe a woman in a position of power will necessarily create meaningful social change. I’m a little weary of celebrating “firsts” for women. I’m impatient and demanding and all the things feminists need to be if we’re going to change the world for more than an elite few. 

And then there are moments when I feel the momentum rumbling beneath my feet and cynicism is nowhere to be found. Today I had one of those moments when I heard that Rabbi Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl has been chosen as the next Senior Rabbi at Central Synagogue, a prominent and powerful Reform congregation in New York City.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rabbis." (Viewed on October 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/rabbis>.

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