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Rabbis

Can I Ask You a Question?

Naomi Eisenberg’s spoken word poem Can I Ask You a Question? speaks for itself. Created in honor of her mother’s 25 years in the rabbinate, Naomi tackles questions of gender and equality in Judaism—and in our society at large.

The Rabba Revolution Continues

Three years ago this month, Rabba Sara Hurwitz made history in the Jewish world by becoming the first publicly ordained female rabbi in the Orthodox community. Since then, the 35-year-old mother of three has been working as Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, an institution dedicated to training women Orthodox clergy, as well as working as Rabba at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, which this June will graduate the first three women with the title of Maharat — an acronym for “Religious, spiritual, Torah leaders” — marking yet another important milestone for women in Orthodoxy. Rabba Hurwitz explained to "The Sisterhood" what this all means.

Let’s Get Real About Marriage and Parenting

“Being a diplomat is no career for a woman who wants to have a family,” said the consul.

“By the time you’re ready to get married he’ll be married,” said my mother.

“Don’t put off having children,” said the prominent professor.

Sharing stories, inspiring change

Last week, Rabbi Scott Perlo wrote a provocative article in the Washington Post in which he addressed the continuing discomfort that many Jews—even liberal, gender-equity-supporting ones—feel about female rabbis. He suggests that this puzzling phenomenon may be due to the central place nostalgia holds in many people’s feelings about Judaism. It comes as no surprise that this nostalgic vision does not include female rabbis.

A Woman Taught Me to Lay Tefillin

The event was called a “Jewish BLT: Bagel, Lox and Tefillin.” I stood there holding the newly purchased and never used tefillin in my hand as I unfolded the instructions ready to tackle this ancien

Rabba Hurwitz Online

Tell me that you’re surprised.

Women’s strides spotlighted this spring at Reform Movement’s graduations, ordinations

This month marks 40 years since the ordination of the first woman rabbi in America. And the Reform Movement is doing some serious celebrating.

Mindy Portnoy

Rabbi Mindy Portnoy was one of the first women to be ordained as a rabbi in the Reform Movement of Judaism. Throughout her career, she has served as both a Hillel rabbi and as a pulpit rabbi in Washington D.C., and is the author of several children’s books, the most well known of which is Ima on the Bimah.

JWA inspires Rosh Hodesh Hanukkah

This week we were excited to receive news that our Hanukkah video, Women Who Light Up Our Lives, inspired Rabbi Janie Grackin to create a special project for "Rosh Hodesh Hanukkah." A Florida-based Jewish community educator and participant in JWA's summer Institute for Educators, Janie writes:

When synagogues downsize, women rabbis are the first to go

Rabbi Charni Flame Selch lost her job when her synagogue, Bnai Emet Synagogue in St. Louis Park, MN, merged with a nearby Minnetonka congregation. A recent article in the Star Tribune suggests that the economic recession is making the road even harder for female rabbis.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rabbis." (Viewed on August 30, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/rabbis>.

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