Pauline Bebe

Pauline Bebe. Photo by Marie Accomiato.

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. Bebe was ordained by the Leo Baeck College in London in 1990 and began serving as rabbi for the Parisian synagogue Mouvement Juif Liberal de France. There she worked to expand the inclusion of women in synagogue life and reached out to addicts, HIV-positive people, and others ostracized by French society. After five years, she left to form the more liberal Communaute Juive Liberale in 1995, now called Maayan. She continues to use her pulpit for outreach to the sick and needy, welcoming refugees and running regular clothing, food, and volunteer drives. Under her leadership, Maayan has now grown to accommodate more than 400 families. As passionate about scholarship as she is about social justice, Bebe has written numerous books, most notably her 2001 ISHA: Dictionnaire des Femmes et du Judaisme.


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Jewish Women's Archive. "Pauline Bebe." (Viewed on February 23, 2024) <>.