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Religious Movements

Ruth Balinsky Friedman

As a member of the first cohort to graduate from Yeshivat Maharat, the first Orthodox seminary for ordaining women, Ruth Balinsky Friedman is helping shape what religious leadership will look like for the next generation of Orthodox women and girls.

Rachel Kohl Finegold

A member of the first class to graduate from Yeshivat Maharat, a seminary for ordaining Orthodox Jewish women, Rachel Kohl Finegold is the first Orthodox woman to serve in a clergy position at a Canadian synagogue.

Nina Bieber Feinstein

Nina Bieber Feinstein spent years laying the groundwork for women’s ordination before becoming the second woman rabbi ordained by the Conservative Movement.

Mimi Feigelson

Reb Mimi Feigelson teaches the tradition of her Hasidic forbears through the lens of her own experience as the first Orthodox woman rabbi.

Ellen Dreyfus

As one of the first women rabbis (and the first to be ordained while pregnant), Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus helped create a model for work-life balance for both women and men in the rabbinate.

Elaine Zecher

Rabbi Elaine Zecher uses her own experiences of illness and struggle to counsel congregants and craft prayers for Mishkan T’fillah and Mishkan HaNefesh, the prayer books of the Reform Movement.

Haviva Ner-David

Rabbi Haviva Ner-David chronicled her struggles to become an Orthodox woman rabbi in her celebrated book Life on the Fringes: A Feminist Journey Toward Traditional Rabbinic Ordination before finally achieving her dream in 2006.

Joy Levitt

Rabbi Joy Levitt helped shape the Reconstructionist movement as the first female head of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA).

Susan Grossman

Rabbi Susan Grossman has helped shape the Conservative Movement’s policies on women’s rights and roles in Jewish life through her work as a member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS).

Rachel Kohl Finegold

One of the first women ordained by Yeshivat Maharat, a seminary for Orthodox Jewish women, Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold is the first woman in Canada to serve as clergy for an Orthodox synagogue.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Religious Movements." (Viewed on December 12, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/religious-movements>.

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