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. Born a Lutheran, Ederberg first visited Israel at age thirteen and slowly fell in love with Judaism. She studied religion in Germany and Israel before converting to Judaism at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York in 1995. After returning to Berlin, she taught Hebrew school and organized an alternative minyan at the prestigious Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue, slowly taking on more of a leadership role in the community that has been the center of Berlin’s liberal Jewish community for 150 years. Ederberg then entered rabbinical school at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, earning her ordination in 2003, and in 2007 she returned to the Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue as their new rabbi. Working to create local networks for liberal rabbis, she was a founding member of the General Rabbinic Conference of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and in 2006 she helped found the European Rabbinical Assembly of Masorti/Conservative Rabbis. As of 2016 she continues to serve as their executive vice president and treasurer.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Gesa Ederberg." (Viewed on March 17, 2018) <https://jwa.org/rabbis/narrators/ederberg-gesa>.