The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Lila Kagedan

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Lila Kagedan until we are able to commission a full entry.

Photo of Rabbi Lila Kagedan, courtesy of Rabbi Kagedan.

The first Orthodox woman to claim the title of Rabbi, Lila Kagedan has worked to make Jewish learning accessible to all. Kagedan earned a BA and an MEd from the University of Toronto before earning a master’s degree in theology and ethics at Harvard. She has taught bioethics at New York Medical College and has served as a chaplain and clinical ethicist in several other hospitals and hospices. She is also the founding director of Sulam Brookline, a non-denominational, Hebrew-immersive after-school program that teaches Jewish children about their history and faith. In 2015 she was ordained by Yeshivat Maharat, an Orthodox yeshiva that trains women as clergy and allows them to choose their own titles, due to ongoing debate in the Orthodox community over whether women can serve as rabbis. As of 2016, Kagedan serves as senior rabbi at the Walnut Street Synagogue in Chelsea, MA while continuing her work as director of Sulam.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lila Kagedan." (Viewed on September 29, 2022) <>.


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