Naamah Kelman

The first woman rabbi to be ordained in Israel, Naamah Kelman has helped cultivate future rabbis as the first female dean of Hebrew Union College’s Jerusalem campus. The latest of ten generations of noted rabbis in her family, Kelman made Aliyah in 1976. Throughout her career, she has focused on Jewish education for people of all ages. She served as coordinator of the Florence Melton Adult Mini School at Hebrew University from 1982–1986 while earning an MA in social work from the University. From 1986–1993 she developed NFTY programs in Israel for American teenagers. In 1992 she was ordained as a rabbi by HUC president Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk. She spent the next four years as director of Department of Education for the Israel Movement of Progressive Judaism. While serving as director of educational initiatives at HUC–JIR from 1997–2003, she created the Pedagogic Center for Early Childhood Education and Beit Midrash: The Liberal Yeshivah. She then served four years as director of HUC’s Year in Israel Program, and cofounded Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counselling in 2005. Since becoming dean in 2009, she has strengthened HUC’s relationships with seminaries in Germany and England.

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Rabbi Naamah Kelman, photo courtesy of Rabbi Kelman.


New York, NY
United States

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Naamah Kelman." (Viewed on January 29, 2020) <>.


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