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Religious Movements

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.

Nina Feinstein

Although she was the second woman ordained by the Conservative Movement, Rabbi Nina Bieber Feinstein helped lay the groundwork for women’s ordination through her own years of study and struggle.

Mimi Feigelson

Reb Mimi Feigelson, the first Orthodox woman ordained as a rabbi, has followed in the footsteps of her mentor, Shlomo Carlebach, by welcoming students from across the spectrum of religious practice.

Ellen Dreyfus

As one of the very first women to be ordained, Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus helped shape policy for rabbis throughout the Reform movement.

Ruth Balinsky Friedman

One of the first graduates of Yeshivat Maharat, the first Orthodox seminary to ordain women, Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman is crafting a new model of religious leadership for Orthodox women and girls.

Sometimes Your Mom’s Friends are Your Friends Too

Stephanie grew up going to a single-sex Orthodox day school and later went to Stern College for Women, a partner with Yeshiva College. But knowing her today, you’d never be able to tell. Since then Stephanie has exploded into a Jewish feminist badass, and yet a lot remains the same. 

Facts Sometimes Have Feelings

“Torah Judaism does not support abortion, Torah Judaism does not support same-sex marriage,” right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro explained with a confident smirk to a cheering audience of Yeshiva University students. I expect it’s a lot easier to blindly subscribe to one binary view on what is seen as one of the most enigmatic documents in existence, rather than to actively engage with this foundational text, and question its claims. 

Lila Kagedan

The first Orthodox woman to claim the title of Rabbi, Lila Kagedan has worked to make Jewish learning accessible to all.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Religious Movements." (Viewed on September 22, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/religious-movements>.

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