German-born Elisa Klapheck became the first female rabbi to serve in the Netherlands. Before her ordination by the Aleph Rabbinic Program, she played a crucial role in bringing about the first international feminist gathering Bet Debora Berlin: Conference of Female Rabbis, Cantors and Rabbinic Scholars. In 1999, Klapheck published the trailblazing book about the first female rabbi in history (Fräulein Rabbiner Jonas: The Story of the First Woman Rabbi, English translation 2004). As a result, Klapheck decided to strive for the rabbinate herself. In 2004 she received her smicha at the Aleph Rabbinic Program. In the following four years she lived in Amsterdam and served as the rabbi of Beit Ha’Chidush, making her the first female rabbi in Dutch history. In 2009, Klapheck moved back to Germany and, since then, has served as rabbi of the Egalitarian Minyan in the Jewish Community of Frankfurt a. M. Klapheck serves as an associate member of the Rabbinic Board of Liberal Judaism and a member of the General Conference of Rabbis of Germany.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Elisa Klapheck." (Viewed on December 2, 2020) <https://jwa.org/rabbis/narrators/klapheck-elisa>.