Since 1972, when Sally Priesand became the first woman in the world ordained by a rabbinical seminary, hundreds of women have become rabbis in the Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative movements. In recent years, womenhave also entered the Orthodox rabbinate, using a variety of titles, including rabbi.
Linda Rabins’s education and career as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer was global and eclectic, making her a unique dance artist. She has studied dance, healing arts, and somatic education all over the world from Israel, Japan, to Canada. She is known for co-founding and co-directing the Linda Rabin Danse Moderne in Montréal, which evolved into Les Ateliers de Danse Moderne de Montréal (LADMMI).
Sophie Rabinoff used the skills she honed as a doctor in Palestine to improve health care in some of the worst slums in New York. Her innovative work helped to establish the fields of public health and preventive medicine in both the United States and Palestine.
Following decades of intensive work in management of Israeli music institutions, Daniella Rabinovich became a leading figure in the field in Tel Aviv in the 1980s and 1990s, serving as director of the Tel Aviv Conservatory.
An outstanding bacteriologist and a leading figure in the feminist movement of women scientists in Germany in the first three decades of the twentieth century, Lydia Rabinowitsch-Kempner was a pioneer among women scientists, an exception among the first generation of women scientists in her combination of career and family.
With her indie rock song cycle Girls in Trouble, musician Alicia Jo Rabins has reinterpreted the women of the Bible for a modern audience.
Dorit Rabinyan was born in Israel in 1972 to a family that emigrated from Iran. She is an acclaimed and popular author whose writings highlight her Jewish/Persian heritage and provide a critique of the position of women and the effects of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict on individuals.
One of the most famous Jews in nineteenth-century France, the actress Rachel was celebrated for her unparalleled talent and is credited with reviving classical French tragedies in the era of Romanticism. Throughout her life, she remained faithful to her family and Judaism. Rachel was unusually adept at managing her career, and she became an international star on foreign tours.
From New York to Israel, Rabbi Rachel Cowan had a hand in developing many aspects of Jewish life during the second half of the twentieth century. She was a pioneer in pushing for inclusivity in Jewish spaces and went to great efforts to make Judaism more accessible to those unfamiliar to it.
Rachel is the name given to the wife of Rabbi Akiva in medieval sources. Various stories in rabbinic literature depict her as supporting her husband in his efforts to study Torah with great personal sacrifice.
The younger daughter of Laban and wife of Jacob, Rachel is the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, who become two of the twelve tribes of Israel (Gen 35:24; 46:15–18). Rachel, who died young, becomes an image of tragic womanhood. After the biblical period, “Mother Rachel” continued to be celebrated as a powerful intercessor for the people of Israel.
Rachel is depicted in the Torah as Jacob’s beautiful and beloved wife. The midrash portrays Rachel as a prophetess, and her statements and the names she gave her sons contain allusions to the future. Rachel’s merit continued to aid Israel even many years after her demise.
A gifted comedian, Gilda Radner made a name for herself as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. Throughout her comedic career, she often drew inspiration from her Jewish upbringing, thereby achieving a significant breakthrough in Jewish women’s visibility on television.
A Canaanite woman living in Jericho, Rahab is a prostitute who is also a biblical heroine. Rahab, who begins as triply marginalized (Canaanite, woman, and prostitute), moves to the center as bearer of a divine message and herald of Israel in its new land. She is remembered in Jewish tradition as the great proselyte, as ancestress of kings and prophets, and, in the New Testament, as ancestress of Jesus.
The Rabbis sing paeans of praise of Rahab for her beauty and wisdom. In many midrashim, Rahab comes to symbolize the positive influence Israel exerts on the surrounding Gentile nations, as well as successful conversion. Her ability to mend her ways was exemplary for ensuing generations, who used Rahab’s story to request divine mercy and pardon for their actions.
The "founding mother" of modern Hebrew poetry by women, Rahel Bluwstein achieved in death the status of a national cultural icon. Rahel’s affiliation with the avant-garde group of Second Aliyah pioneers to pre-state Palestine, her dedication to Zionist ideals, and her agonizing death made her a beloved pioneering figure in Israel.
Puah Rakovsky dedicated her life to working towards the empowerment of Jews, particularly of Jewish women. She was a revolutionary woman, taking on important roles as an educator, translator, organizer of women, and an early socialist Zionist.