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. After her ordination from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1994, Edwards took a position as rabbi of Los Angeles’s Beth Chayim Chadashim, the first LGBT synagogue. Under her leadership, the synagogue has blended innovation with tradition, repurposing a genizah (a traditional storeroom for holy documents) as a chronicle of the synagogue’s history and using technology to enable housebound congregants to participate in services. An outspoken speaker and writer on the subject of LGBT inclusion in religious and secular communities, Edwards is a regular columnist for the Los Angeles Jewish Journal and has written essays for The Women’s Torah Commentary and Introduction to Judaism: A Sourcebook, as well as one of the introductions to the new High Holiday prayer book of the Reform movement in 2015. In 2014 the city of Los Angeles honored her as one of seven LGBT Leaders and Legends.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Lisa Edwards." (Viewed on September 27, 2022) <https://jwa.org/rabbis/narrators/edwards-lisa>.
Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.