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.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Angela Buchdahl." (Viewed on January 18, 2019) <https://jwa.org/rabbis/narrators/buchdahl-angela>.