Judaism-Reform

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Rachel Cowan

As one of the founders of the Jewish healing movement, Rachel Cowan blended modern holistic medicine and counseling with traditional Jewish rituals and prayers to help change how people responded to illness.

Carolyn Blumenthal Danz

A Seattle native of Ashkenazic-German descent, Carolyn Danz grew up in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. She was a lifelong member of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, the oldest Reform Congregation in the Pacific Northwest. Carolyn graduated in 1939 from the University of Washington with a BA in Fine Arts, married Jerry Taylor in 1940, and had two children. Jerry, diagnosed with MS early in their marriage, died in 1959. Carolyn supported her family by opening and running a dressmaking business. A skilled seamstress, she and her talented African American assistant, Maude, made beautiful clothing.

Naomi Adler is named as first female CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia

February 3, 2014

“You have to take risks with vision in mind,” says Naomi Adler, first female CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Neshama Carlebach

Where She's Coming From

by Lisa Batya Feld

I’m bracing myself for the inevitable storm of essays about Neshama Carlebach’s choice and what it says about Orthodoxy. It’s easy to read her decision to “make aliyah” to Reform Judaism as a triumph of the liberal values and inclusivity of the Reform Movement over the ingrained sexism of Orthodoxy. But the truth is that both movements are struggling with how to include women and a wider range of voices.

Sally Priesand

When I decided to study for the rabbinate, I never thought much about being a pioneer, nor was it my intention to champion the rights of women. I just wanted to be a rabbi.

Sue Levi Elwell

Annette returned home that night with her mind ablaze and her heart pounding with excitement. A new Jewish door was opening for her.

Nina Beth Cardin

In the early years of women entering the rabbinate, many women felt were welcomed to rabbinical school on the expectation that we would act like men.

Rabbi Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl

More Than Just The Celebration of One Woman: Rabbi Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Usually, I’m a bit of a skeptic about the transformative power of women’s leadership. I don’t believe a woman in a position of power will necessarily create meaningful social change. I’m a little weary of celebrating “firsts” for women. I’m impatient and demanding and all the things feminists need to be if we’re going to change the world for more than an elite few. 

And then there are moments when I feel the momentum rumbling beneath my feet and cynicism is nowhere to be found. Today I had one of those moments when I heard that Rabbi Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl has been chosen as the next Senior Rabbi at Central Synagogue, a prominent and powerful Reform congregation in New York City.

Elissa Froman, 1983 - 2013

She didn’t want to be known as the girl with cancer. She wanted to be known as a social justice activist, as someone working to repair the world.

Mindy Portnoy

Rabbi Mindy Portnoy was one of the first women to be ordained as a rabbi in the Reform Movement of Judaism. Throughout her career, she has served as both a Hillel rabbi and as a pulpit rabbi in Washington D.C., and is the author of several children’s books, the most well known of which is Ima on the Bimah.

Liberals Are That Way Too?

by  Deborah K. Bravo

Rick, Danny, Jonah, Mark and Brad. One might think this is a list of possible names for you new baby boy.

Topics: Judaism-Reform
Rabbi Kleinbaum at Gay Marriage Demontration

Reinventing Rituals: June, a month of Pride and same-sex marriages

by  Elyssa Cohen

June is full of irony: not only is June Pride month, but it is also the unofficial start to wedding season. So many are still fighting for equal marriage. As I write this, lawmakers in Albany are struggling to garner enough votes to make same-sex marriage legal in New York state (see resources to get involved at the end of this post).

"The Imposter Daughter" by Laurie Sandell, excerpt page 1

Graphic Details: Interview with Laurie Sandell

by  Leah Berkenwald

Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women is the first museum exhibit to explore this unique niche of autobiographical storytelling by Jewish women. The touring exhibit, sponsored by The Forward, features the work of 18 Jewish women artists. The Jewish Women's Archive is interviewing each of the artists about their work and their experience as a female, Jewish graphic artist.

Top 10 Jewish Women in Labor History

10 Things You Should Know About Gertrude Weil

by  Leah Berkenwald

Gertrude Weil was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1879. Her father, an immigrant from Germany, was among the business and civic leaders of the community. At the age of 15, she was sent to Horace Mann High School in New York City. She went on to Smith College, where, in 1901, she became the first graduate from North Carolina.

Unit 2, Lesson 7 - The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Use images, artifacts, and audio clips to develop a more nuanced understanding of the March on Washington.

Unit 2, Lesson 6 - Jewish clergy in the Civil Rights Movement

Unpack the roles, motivations, and challenges of Southern and Northern rabbis during the Civil Rights Movement.

Alysa Stanton ordained as first African-American female rabbi

June 6, 2009

Alysa Stanton became the world's first African-American female rabbi when she was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati on June 6, 2009.

Paula Ackerman becomes "spiritual leader" of Temple Beth Israel of Meridian, Mississippi

December 12, 1950

On December 12, 1950, Paula Ackerman became the interim "spiritual leader" of Temple Beth Israel in Meridian, Mississippi after her husband, who w

JTS Faculty Senate votes to admit women

October 24, 1983

Following a lengthy and intense debate within the Conservative movement, the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) faculty senate, on October 24, 1983, voted 34-8 to admit women to the JTS Rabbinical S

Reform rabbis debate women's ordination

June 30, 1922

On June 29, 1922, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the Reform movement's professional organization, meeting in Cape May, N.J., debated a resolution declaring that "women cannot jus

Sally Priesand ordained as first American woman rabbi

June 3, 1972

Sally Priesand made history on June 3, 1972, when she was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), becoming the first female rabbi in American history and the first

Angela Warnick Buchdahl is invested as first Asian-American cantor

May 16, 1999

Buchdahl became the first Asian American cantor, and just two years later, made history again by becoming the first Asian American rabbi.

Jewish women's advocate Esther Ruskay is featured speaker at NCJW New York launch

May 9, 1894
An advocate for both women and traditional Jewish practice, Esther Ruskay spoke on "The Revival of Judaism" at the founding meeting of the New York section of the National Council of Jewish Women.
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