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Rabbis

Jill Hammer

Jill Hammer co-founded the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute to offer women alternative ways of connecting with Jewish tradition by focusing on the sacredness of the body and the earth.

Jacqueline Koch Ellenson

A rabbi and community leader, Jacqueline Koch Ellenson has balanced her concern for both Israeli and American women as chair of the Hadassah Foundation and director of the Women’s Rabbinic Network.

Sara Hurwitz

Upon becoming the first Modern Orthodox woman rabbi ordained in the United States, Sara Hurwitz took on the title “Rabba.”

Toba Spitzer

Toba Spitzer became the first openly gay head of a rabbinic organization in 2007 when she became president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.

Deborah Brin

Deborah Brin, one of the first openly gay rabbis, led the first prayer service for Women of the Wall at the Conference for the Empowerment of Jewish Women in 1988.

Icons for the New Year: Ray Frank

While seeking stories of transformation this holiday season, most of the tales that have caught my attention involved women who exchanged quiet domestic lives for active involvement in the public sphere. Ray Frank did the opposite: she swapped her life as a trailblazing Jewish leader for one away from the spotlight.

Deborah Waxman

In 2014, Rabbi Deborah Waxman became the first woman (and first lesbian) to simultaneously lead both a seminary and a congregational organization as head of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities.

Jane Evans

Although she never became a rabbi, Jane Evans, Executive Director of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, became a powerful voice for women’s ordination within the Reform Movement.

Angela Buchdahl

Angela Buchdahl made history as the first Asian-American rabbi and cantor, but it has been her skill with congregants that has fueled her rise to senior rabbi at a prestigious Manhattan synagogue.

Julie Schonfeld

In 2009, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld became the first female leader of an American rabbinical organization, serving as executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rabbis." (Viewed on July 22, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/rabbis>.

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