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.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Elyse Goldstein." (Viewed on March 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/goldstein-elyse>.