Angela Buchdahl

Angela Buchdahl made history as the first Asian-American rabbi and cantor, but it has been her skill with congregants that has fueled her rise to senior rabbi at a prestigious Manhattan synagogue. The child of a Korean mother and Jewish American father, Buchdahl was raised Jewish, but her religious identity was challenged by other Jewish teens on her first trip to Israel. To silence such challenges, she reaffirmed her faith through an Orthodox conversion at age 21, and after graduating from Yale in 1994 with a degree in religion, continued her education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, becoming a cantor in 1999 and a rabbi in 2001. Her first post was at the Westchester Reform Temple, but in 2006 she became senior cantor at Central Synagogue in Manhattan. Over the next seven years, the synagogue’s Friday night attendance doubled and their post-Bar-Mitzvah retention tripled. In 2013 the synagogue named her their first female senior rabbi. Buchdahl has taught for the Wexner Foundation and is a board member of the Jewish Multiracial Network.

Topics: Cantors, Rabbis

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Rabbi Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl at JWA's 2013 annual "Making Trouble / Making History" luncheon.
Photo by Jordyn Rozensky

Date of Birth

South Korea

Rabbi, Cantor

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Angela Buchdahl." (Viewed on July 11, 2020) <>.


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