From veterans of the women’s movement to the newest generation of social justice leaders, from American pioneers to women rabbis continuing to break new ground around the world—discover the stories of women who have transformed the rabbinate…and the Jewish community.

Showing 1 - 25 of 76

Rachel Adler

Rachel Adler has always challenged her religion from within, from her early days as a pioneer of the Jewish feminist movement to her later ordination as a rabbi.

Camille Angel

As one of the first gay rabbis to be hired by a mainstream synagogue, Camille Angel has worked tirelessly to make Judaism and Judaic texts welcoming and germane for LGBTQ Jews.

Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Sharon Cohen Anisfeld has brought her passion for activism into her role as dean of the rabbinical school at Hebrew College, inspiring her students to blend both engagement with tradition and engagement with social justice.

Toba August

As a member of the first class of women to be ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Toba August recognizes the power of educators to shape the next generation of Jewish leaders.

Talia Avnon-Benveniste

The great-great-granddaughter of one of the great Hasidic rabbis, Rabbi Levi Isaac of Berdichev, Talia Avnon-Benveniste grew up secular on a kibbutz.

Charley Baginsky

Charley Baginsky has been passionate about the Liberal Jewish movement since childhood. She served as a youth leader and educator with LJY-Netzer, which led to her increased involvement with the movement as she grew into adulthood.

Carole Balin

Carole Balin began her career as a rabbi, ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and then went on to earn her PhD in Jewish history at Columbia University.

Pauline Bebe

Pauline Bebe’s struggles to become the first women rabbi to serve in France have made her sensitive to the importance of welcoming people of all backgrounds to participate in Jewish life.

Karen Bender

Karen Bender’s familial ties in Israel and her passion for social justice led to her ordination as a rabbi and to her 2015 inclusion in the NAACP’s Journey for Justice, a historic march for voting rights restoration.

Amy Bernstein

Amy Bernstein has used her position as rabbi of one of the largest Reconstructionist synagogues in the country to create the kind of welcoming community that she longed for at an earlier age.

Deborah Brin

Deborah Brin was among the first 100 women to be ordained as rabbis in the United States and was among the first generation of openly lesbian rabbis.

Sharon Brous

Sharon Brous’s personal quest for a meaningful Jewish life led her to found IKAR, a community blending innovative spirituality and strong social justice values to reengage disaffected Jews.

Angela Buchdahl

As the first Asian-American rabbi and cantor, Angela Buchdahl has shifted people’s perceptions of what it means to look Jewish, but it is her intellect, charisma, and deep spiritual curiosity that have made her the senior rabbi at a prestigious Manhattan synagogue.

Dianne Cohler-Esses

As the first woman rabbi from the Syrian community, Dianne Cohler-Esses has used teaching to open up new possibilities for others.

Mychal Copeland

Mychal Copeland brings her passion for LGBTQ and interfaith inclusion in Judaism to the forefront in her work. While working toward her ordination by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Copeland was the Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in New York City, the largest Jewish LGBTQ community in the world.

Ellen Dreyfus

As one of the first women rabbis (and the first to be ordained while pregnant), Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus helped create a model for work-life balance for both women and men in the rabbinate.

Gesa Ederberg

Gesa Ederberg’s status as the first woman rabbi to serve in Berlin since the Holocaust has helped her reinvigorate the German community that once represented the cutting edge of liberal Judaism.

Lisa Edwards

As a rabbi serving the oldest LGBT synagogue in Los Angeles, Lisa Edwards has worked for decades to make the Jewish community a more welcoming place for gays, lesbians, and transgender Jews.

Denise Eger

As one of the first openly gay rabbis, Denise Eger has spent her career working for greater LGBT inclusion in Jewish communities.

Amy Eilberg

Defying expectations placed on her as the first woman rabbi ordained by the Conservative Movement, Amy Eilberg forged her own path as a chaplain and pastoral counselor.

Jacqueline Koch Ellenson

Jacqueline Koch Ellenson used her position as director of the Women’s Rabbinic Network to advocate for women’s equality in the profession.

Sue Levi Elwell

A pioneer of inclusive Judaism as one of the first openly gay women rabbis, Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell helped empower countless Jewish women to take ownership of Jewish tradition.

Tamara Cohn Eskenazi

For Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, editor of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, becoming a rabbi was the culmination of a lifelong examination of the intersection of women and faith.

Mimi Feigelson

Reb Mimi Feigelson teaches the tradition of her Hasidic forbears through the lens of her own experience as the first Orthodox woman rabbi.

Nina Bieber Feinstein

Nina Bieber Feinstein spent years laying the groundwork for women’s ordination before becoming the second woman rabbi ordained by the Conservative Movement.


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rabbis." (Viewed on May 19, 2024) <http://jwa.org/rabbis/narrators>.