We’re expanding our Encyclopedia of Jewish Women and we need your help! Know an extraordinary Jewish woman whose story should be told? Nominate her to be included!
Close [x]

Show [+]


You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Kinneret Shiryon

The first female congregational rabbi to serve in Israel, Kinneret Shiryon went on to establish Kehillat Yozma, the first non-Orthodox congregation to receive funding from the state. Born Sandra Levine, Shiryon was ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in 1981 and made Aliyah in 1983. She led her first congregation, Ramat Aviv, for seven years before joining a small group to found Kehillat Yozma in Modi’in, a new city between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, in 1997. Because Israel had historically been unsupportive of non-Orthodox denominations of Judaism, it then took eleven years to receive funds to construct a building for the synagogue, which broke ground in 2008. Shiryon continues to serve as rabbi there as of 2016. Kehillat Yozma (Initiative) is known for its social justice partnerships, such as with the Beit Eden community for special-needs children and various outreach efforts to economically struggling families. It also boasts the first Reform day school to receive state funding from the Israeli government. Shiryon was the first woman to chair the Council of Progressive Rabbis in Israel (MARAM), and continues to be an outspoken advocate for Reform Judaism in Israel.

More on Kinneret Shiryon
Kinneret Shiryon
Full image
Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon in 2015. Photo courtesy of Kinneret Shiryon.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Schenectady, New York

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Kinneret Shiryon." (Viewed on March 22, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/shiryon-kinneret>.


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