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Mindy Portnoy


Rabbi Mindy Portnoy was one of the first women to be ordained as a rabbi in the Reform Movement of Judaism. Throughout her career, she has served as both a Hillel rabbi and as a pulpit rabbi in Washington D.C., and is the author of several children’s books, the most well known of which is Ima on the Bimah.

Rabbi Portnoy’s career has mirrored the progress made by women in the rabbinate, from the early days when women rabbis attending rabbinic conventions would hold ad hoc meetings in the ladies’ room, and when she would be introduced as “a woman rabbi”, to the present day where being a female and a rabbi is no longer unusual.

Rabbi Portnoy talks about her experiences as a rabbi from the vantage point of someone who was both a participant in this historic change in Jewish life and also as an observer of it. She speaks about what led her to the rabbinate, her experiences as a rabbi, how others perceived women taking on this new role, and how she responded to some of the issues raised for the first time during this transitional period.

Full video interview

Full transcript

Mindy Portnoy
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Mindy Portnoy.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Mindy Portnoy." (Viewed on March 20, 2019) <https://jwa.org/exhibits/dc/portnoy-mindy>.


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