Content type
Collection
Ray Frank

“In a Place Where There Are No Men”

by Leah Berkowitz

The 21st century in general, and this season in particular, is a high stakes time in the congregational rabbinate. Taking a break from my annual scramble to produce four 20-minute sermons that will change the course of history (that’s really what it feels like), I had the opportunity to re-read some High Holy Day words that actually did change the course of history.

Topics: Yom Kippur

Ray Frank's Yom Kippur Sermon, 1890

Read the 1890 Yom Kippur sermon by Ray Frank, the first Jewish woman to preach formally from a pulpit, and consider what unites and divides the Jewish people both historically and today.

Melissa Benoist, June 30, 2015

Superwoman! Er, Girl

by Larisa Klebe

Is it sexist to call a woman a girl? Yes it is. At the risk of having the world’s shortest blog post though, I’ll elaborate. The Washington Post published a piece this week about the new CBS drama, “Supergirl,” titled: “Is the term ‘Supergirl’ offensive? The story behind the ‘girl vs. woman’ speech in the pilot.” 

Topics: Feminism

Ray Frank

Ray Frank paved the way for women to serve as rabbis with her passionate and incisive preaching.

Women of Valor: Jewish Heroes Across Time

Learn about the lives of three trailblazing women and get some practical ideas for how to bring their stories into your community in creative ways.
Zelda R. Stern

Fall Donor Spotlight

by  Leah Berkenwald

This fall, JWA is recognizing the contributions of three very different donors.

Lessons from "A Lay Sermon by a Young Lady"

by  Leah Berkenwald

One hundred and twenty years ago today, Ray Frank delivered a historic sermon on what was the first night of Rosh Hashanah in Spokane, Washington. Ray Frank, featured in JWA's Women of Valor exhibit, is one of those "complicated" heroines.

Ray Frank

Ray Frank's position in American Jewry was truly a novel one. In 1890, she became the first Jewish woman to preach formally from a pulpit in the United States, inaugurating a career as "the Girl Rabbi of the Golden West" that would help to blaze new paths for women in Judaism. Virtually overnight, Frank became a sensation in the Jewish world, and she would remain so for nearly a decade.

Ray Frank: "Lady Preacher" of the West

by  Leah Berkenwald

One-hundred and nineteen years ago today, Ray Frank became the first Jewish woman to speak from a synagogue pulpit in the United States. Ray Frank's story is particularly intriguing due to its complexity and the questions it raises. This was undoubtedly an important event in American Jewish women's history, but its impact is not straightforward, and thinking of Ray Frank as a heroine of the women's movement is somewhat problematic.

Topics: Rabbis

Ray Frank preaches on Rosh Hashanah

September 14, 1890

On September 14, 1890, Ray Frank became the first Jewish woman to preach formally from a synagogue pulpit in the United States.

Ritual: A Feminist Approach

Because religious praxis involving material objects plays so major a role in Jewish religion, one of the most significant expressions of the creation of feminist Judaism and its influence on the Jewish people is women’s wide-ranging involvement in the full range of ceremonies that exist both within and beyond halakhah.

Rabbis in the United States

Jewish women’s recent entrance to the brotherhood of the rabbinate masks a lengthy history of the question of women’s ordination.

Assimilation in the United States: Nineteenth Century

Scholars have conventionally considered the nineteenth century the German era in the American Jewish history. Between 1820 and 1880, more than two hundred thousand immigrants from German lands arrived in the United States. Besides German Jews, this transatlantic movement also included migrants from ethnically Czech, Hungarian, Polish, and Baltic territories that at that time remained under German political control or cultural influence.

Subscribe to Ray Frank

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

Can We Talk?

listen now

Get JWA in your inbox