Francine Klagsbrun

From Free to Be … You and Me to Women of the Wall, Francine Klagsbrun pushed to change what possibilities were open for women. Klagsbrun trained in art history before turning to publishing, becoming executive editor of the Encyclopedia Americana and World Book Encyclopedia, as well as The First Ms. Reader and Free to Be ... You and Me before writing books on psychology, sociology, and Jewish practice. In 1977, she became one of three women chosen for the fourteen-member special commission to debate the issue of ordaining women as Conservative rabbis. The commission found no reason in Jewish law to forbid women’s ordination and recommended that women be allowed to study at the Jewish Theological Seminary, though the Seminary continued to debate the issue until 1983. In 1988, Klagsbrun was chosen by the First International Jewish Feminist Conference in Jerusalem to be the first woman to carry a Torah to the Western Wall, and she became a strong supporter of Women of the Wall. She has served on the boards of numerous museums, cultural centers, feminist organizations, and publishing houses, and continues her work in Jewish publishing through the boards of Lilith and Hadassah magazines.


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Editor, writer, and activist, Francine Klagsbrun.

Date of Birth

Brooklyn, NY
United States

Editor, Writer, Activist

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Francine Klagsbrun." (Viewed on January 17, 2021) <>.


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