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Rabbis

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.

Rachel Adler headshot

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.
Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

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.
Pauline Bebe headshot

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.
Amy Bernstein

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.
Sharon Brous

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.
Rabbi Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl

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

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.
Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus

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 cropped

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

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

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

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 Ellenson

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

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

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

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

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

Rachel Kohl Finegold

A member of the first class to graduate from Yeshivat Maharat, a seminary for ordaining Orthodox Jewish women, Rachel Kohl Finegold is the first Orthodox woman to serve in a clergy position at a Canadian synagogue.
Karen Fox

Karen Fox

As a rabbi and a psychotherapist, Karen Fox guides and supports clients, congregants, and students on their different journeys.
Ruth Balinsky Friedman

Ruth Balinsky Friedman

As a member of the first cohort to graduate from Yeshivat Maharat, the first Orthodox seminary for ordaining women, Ruth Balinsky Friedman is helping shape what religious leadership will look like for the next generation of Orthodox women and girls.
Laura Geller headshot

Laura Geller

One of the first women rabbis, Laura Geller has helped create new possibilities for Jewish women, from rituals to leadership roles.

Miri Gold

Miri Gold

Miri Gold achieved a major coup for religious equality in 2012 when she became the first non-Orthodox rabbi to have her salary paid by the Israeli government.
Elyse Goldstein with Torah

Elyse Goldstein

As one of the first women rabbis in Canada, Elyse Goldstein has broken down barriers by founding inclusive communities for learning and prayer.
Tina Grimberg headshot

Tina Grimberg

Denied the opportunity to explore her Jewish heritage as a child in Soviet Ukraine, Tina Grimberg has used her career in the rabbinate to ensure inclusivity in the Jewish community.
Susan Grossman

Susan Grossman

As a member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS), Rabbi Susan Grossman has helped shape the Conservative Movement’s policies on women’s rights and their roles in Jewish life.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rabbis." (Viewed on October 16, 2017) <https://jwa.org/rabbis/narrators>.

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