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. The child of a Korean mother and Jewish American father, Buchdahl was raised Jewish, but her religious identity was challenged by other Jewish teens on her first trip to Israel. To silence such challenges, she reaffirmed her Jewish identity through conversion at age 21. She studied at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, becoming a cantor in 1999 and a rabbi in 2001. In 2006 she became senior cantor at Central Synagogue in Manhattan, and in 2013 Central Synagogue named her their first female senior rabbi. As a board member of the Jewish Multiracial Network, Buchdahl continues to work for a more inclusive Jewish community.
More on Angela Buchdahl
- This Week in History: Angela Warnick Buchdahl is invested as first Asian-American cantor
- This Week in History: Angela Buchdahl Named one of America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis
- Blog: Making History in the Cantorate and the Rabbinate
- Blog: Women’s strides spotlighted this spring at Reform Movement’s graduations, ordinations
- Blog: More Than Just The Celebration of One Woman: Rabbi Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Angela Buchdahl." (Viewed on March 28, 2023) <https://jwa.org/rabbis/narrators/buchdahl-angela>.
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First and foremost L’Shana Tovah! You probably will never see this email, but I must tell you that your sermon, “What It Means to be Jewish” has left me in tears, and could be the best sermon I have ever heard! I chose not to livestream my own congregation in St. Louis, but rather join yours this morning. (Too numerous are the reasons but I won’t go into that).
I am that Jew you spoke about, not being Bat Mitzvahed, and only attending synagogue on the High Holidays. But I try ever day to do a Mitzvah, an act of kindness in my own small way.
Thank you for allowing me to feel more Jewish then I have ever felt in my 72 years!
May it be a sweet year for you and your family.
Hi, Rabbi, Igrew up with a Jewish Friend and her Family! I am a Catholic @ she went to church with me & I went to Synagogue with her and her family. She became a secretary to Frank Sinatra and when she passed away, I still miss her. I care about the Jewish Families, and when I heard about the Anti-Semitism it reminded me of her and, How can they LIVE with themselves, between the murders and ridicule ....! I am Praying for the Jewish People, It sickens me to remember the AntiSemitism and to see it again, There was just an attack on Jews, they were stabbed....God Bless them!
I Love your commercial..