The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Deborah Waxman

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

Rabbi Deborah Waxman in 2013.

Image courtesy of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College via Wikimedia Commons.

In 2014, Rabbi Deborah Waxman became the first woman (and first lesbian) to simultaneously lead both a seminary and a congregational organization as head of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities. After studying religion at Columbia, Waxman was ordained by RRC in 1999 and earned a PhD in American Jewish history at Temple University in 2010. She began teaching at RRC in 2002 and published numerous articles on Jewish history and women in Judaism. In 2003 she became Vice President for Governance of RRC and planned the successful overhaul of the organization, merging the congregational arm and the seminary into one organization in 2012. She then became the leader of the new organization in 2014 and has viewed her role as strengthening the Reconstructionist movement and helping promote social justice and inclusion, creating positions for a vice president of community engagement and director of Israel engagement.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Deborah Waxman." (Viewed on May 29, 2023) <>.


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