Maya Leibovich was the first Israeli-born woman to be ordained as a rabbi, the first woman rabbi in the former Soviet Union, and the first woman rabbi to lead a military funeral service in Israel. After her ordination by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Leibovich founded the Reform Congregation Mevasseret Zion in the Jerusalem suburb, Mevasseret, a congregation that is not state-subsidized, unlike the surrounding Orthodox synagogues. Throughout her career, she has fought for the right to be a female rabbi and for the right to be a Reform Jew, overcoming outside pressure, hate mail, threats, and terrorist attacks. Leibovich also works for the World Union of Progressive Judaism Russian Department and has published the Siddur Ha’avodah Sh’Balev in Russian and edited the Mahzor HaKavanah Sh’Balev. In the past, she served as chair of the Council of Progressive Rabbis in Israel. Since 2014, Leibovich has served as the summer rabbi in Petoskey, Michigan.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Maya Leibovich." (Viewed on May 29, 2023) <https://jwa.org/rabbis/narrators/leibovich-maya>.
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