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Synagogues/Temples

Congregation appoints first woman to serve as senior rabbi

August 1, 1979

Reconstructionist rabbi Linda Joy Holtzman became the first woman to lead a U.S. Jewish congregation when she was appointed the spiritual leader of the Coatesville, PA, Beth Israel Congregation.

First North American synagogue building dedicated with a traditional women's gallery

April 8, 1730

The first North American synagogue building was dedicated on Mill Street in New York City. A 1744 visitor noted that the congregation's women "of whom some were very pritty, stood up in the gallery like a hen coop."

Creation of New York Female Hebrew Benevolent Society

March 15, 1820

The women of Shearith Israel synagogue in New York, led by Richa Levy, established the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society.

Lynn Gottlieb publishes "She Who Dwells Within"

March 3, 1995

Publication of Lynn Gottlieb's guide to nonsexist Judaism, "She Who Dwells Within."

Union of Jewish Women

The Union of Jewish Women (UJW) was the first national umbrella organization for Jewish women’s social service groups.

Spain

Written histories of the Jews in Spain have rarely included women. When dealing with Jewish women in Spain, the available sources range from poems, letters, and rabbinic literature to Latinate wills, court records and Inquisition documents.

South Africa

The South African Jewish community is a highly organized, relatively affluent community, estimated at between eighty thousand and ninety thousand Jews in 2001—less than two percent of the total white population and 0.5 percent of the total population. Despite these small numbers and continuing emigration, the South African community remains one of the twelve largest Jewish communities in the world.

Sisterhoods of Personal Service in the United States

The Sisterhoods of Personal Service constituted a significant unit within the constellation of Jewish social welfare organizations, personally assisting a considerable number of immigrants through a variety of financial, vocational, educational, and social programs.

Carrie Obendorfer Simon

In an era in which Victorian social conventions limited most women to the private sphere of home and family, Carrie Obendorfer Simon broke important ground for American Jewish women by founding the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (NFTS) in the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC).

Orthodox Judaism in the United States

Orthodox views on the role women may play in their community’s religious, educational, and social life have reflected the range of attitudes that religious group has harbored toward American society and culture.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Synagogues/Temples." (Viewed on May 22, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/synagoguestemples>.

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