The first woman rabbi ordained by the Conservative Movement, Amy Eilberg forged her own path as a chaplain and pastoral counselor. After hearing stories about Orthodox Jewish feminist Rachel Adler donning tallit and tefillin to pray at the first National Jewish Women’s Conference, Eilberg, a Jewish studies major at Brandeis, was inspired to learn to read Torah and involve herself more in Jewish ritual. After college, she went on to do graduate work in Talmud at the Jewish Theological Seminary. When JTS admitted the first class of women in 1984, the faculty decided Eilberg needed only one more year of study to qualify for ordination. After becoming a rabbi, Eilberg first worked as a hospital chaplain and then assistant rabbi at a synagogue, but soon stepped down, realizing her true passion was for chaplaincy work. She helped create the Jewish healing movement, cofounding the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center. She now serves as a pastoral counselor in Palo Alto, teaching Jewish healing and spirituality.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Amy Eilberg." (Viewed on April 19, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/eilberg-amy>.