Elyse Goldstein

As one of the first women rabbis in Canada, Elyse Goldstein has broken down barriers by founding inclusive communities for learning and prayer. Goldstein graduated from Brandeis University in 1978 and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in 1983. After ordination, she became assistant rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, then sole rabbi of Temple Beth David in Canton, Massachusetts in 1986 before returning to Canada in 1991 to become founding director of Kolel: The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning, a major center for Jewish adult education. Goldstein served as the first female president of both Reform Rabbis of Toronto and the interdenominational Toronto Board of Rabbis. She stepped down from her responsibilities with Kolel in 2011 to found the inclusive City Shul in Toronto, where she still serves as rabbi as of 2017. Her first book, ReVisions: Seeing Torah Through a Feminist Lens, won the Canadian National Jewish Book Award in 1998; her 2000 Women’s Torah Commentary, which wove together insights from dozens of women scholars, has left an indelible mark on Jewish thought; and her book New Jewish Feminism: Probing the Past, Forging the Future was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in 2008. 

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Photo of Rabbi Elyse Goldstein courtesy of Rabbi Goldstein.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Elyse Goldstein." (Viewed on May 25, 2019) <https://jwa.org/rabbis/narrators/goldstein-elyse>.

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