You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Synagogues/Temples

Sally Jane Priesand

On June 3, 1972, Sally Jane Priesand became the first female ordained rabbi in America.

Mary Goldsmith Prag

One of California’s first Jewish educators, Mary Goldsmith Prag came to San Francisco as a young child during the Gold Rush. She became a religious and secular teacher, an administrator, a fighter for equal rights for women, and the mother of the first Jewish congresswoman, Florence Prag Kahn.

Post-Biblical and Rabbinic Women

In post-biblical Jewish antiquity women were not viewed as equal to men or as full Jews. In this, Jews were no different from their various Greco-Roman, Semitic or Egyptian neighbors. The difference lies in the explanation Jews gave to their views.

Poland: Early Modern (1500-1795)

With the gender role definition for Jewish women in Poland being subtly and haltingly stretched and broadened as this period progressed, it does seem appropriate to call it the early modern period.

Doña Gracia Nasi

Doña Gracia Nasi (c. 1510–1569) was among the most formidable figures of the Sephardi world in the sixteenth century. Her dramatic (indeed melodramatic) life began in Portugal, where she was born into a Jewish family whose members had recently been forcibly baptized. It ended in Constantinople after a career that brought her renown as a shrewd and resourceful businesswoman, a leader of the Sephardi [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:308]diaspora[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary], and a generous benefactor of Jewish enterprises.

Rebecca Touro Lopez

In 1824, Rebecca Touro petitioned the Rhode Island state legislature on behalf of preserving Touro Synagogue in Newport, the oldest synagogue building in North America and one that symbolizes Jewish survival and the American belief in religious freedom. At the time of her petition, no Jews were living in Newport, but her brother, Abraham Touro, had left the state ten thousand dollars to restore and maintain the synagogue. The synagogue, designed by the eminent colonial architect Peter Harrison, was not only a beautiful building, but represented a history of religious toleration, both in the Rhode Island colony founded by Roger Williams and in the new nation. Today, the synagogue is an active house of worship and, as a National Historic Site and National Trust Historic Site, draws thirty thousand visitors a year from all over the country and around the world.

Marcia Koven

Marcia Koven is one of a small number of Jewish women in Canada’s Maritime Provinces who have been involved in the creation of museums which recall aspects of the region’s past. Many native sons and daughters of that less than prosperous area of Canada have moved away in the post-World War II era, sparking a desire among those who remained to commemorate earlier periods of growth and prosperity.

Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut

Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut made her mark on the American Jewish community in the areas of education, social welfare, and the organization of Jewish women. Grounded in her Jewish identity as the daughter and wife of rabbis, Kohut had a public career that paralleled the beginnings of Jewish women’s activism in the United States.

Irene Caroline Diner Koenigsberger

A distinguished chemist credited with discovering the structure of rubber, Irene Caroline Koenigsberger was also an important figure in the Washington, D.C., Jewish community.

Francine Klagsbrun

Author of more than a dozen books and countless articles in national publications, and a regular columnist in two Jewish publications, Francine Klagsbrun is a writer of protean interests. She has succeeded in making an impact on both American and American Jewish culture.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Synagogues/Temples." (Viewed on December 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/synagoguestemples>.

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