This website is made possible by generous donations from users just like you. $18 helps keep JWA online for one day.  Please consider making a gift to JWA today!
Close [x]


You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Elyse Goldstein

One of the first women rabbis in Canada, Elyse Goldstein was the first female president of either the interdenominational Toronto Board of Rabbis or Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto. Goldstein grew up the daughter of a strong Jewish leader: her mother, Terry Goldstein, served as director of NFTY for over twenty years. Elyse graduated from Brandeis in 1978 and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in 1983. Her student pulpit at a synagogue for the deaf inspired her to become a lifelong advocate for deaf Jewish education. After ordination, she became assistant rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, then sole rabbi of Temple Beth David in Canton, Massachusetts in 1986 before returning to Canada to help found Kolel: the Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning in 1991. She retired from Kolel in 2011 to found the inclusive City Shul in Toronto, where she is still rabbi as of 2016. Her first book, ReVisions: Seeing Torah Through a Feminist Lens, won the Canadian National Jewish Book Award in 1998, and her fourth book, New Jewish Feminism: Probing the Past, Forging the Future, was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in 2008. 

Elyse Goldstein
Full image
Rabbi Elyse Goldstein
Courtesy of Elyse Goldstein
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Scranton, Pennsylvania

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Elyse Goldstein." (Viewed on December 10, 2018) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews


Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs