Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

b. September 1, 1960

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Sharon Cohen Anisfeld until we are able to commission a full entry.

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld. Photo courtesy of Rabbi Anisfeld.

As dean of Hebrew College's Rabbinical School and then president of the College, Sharon Cohen Anisfeld struck a rare balance between overseeing the seminary as a whole and connecting with each of her students on a personal level. Anisfeld was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1990 and served for many years as a Hillel rabbi at Tufts, Yale, and Harvard. While at Yale, she organized the University’s first women’s Seder in 1993, an annual event that eventually led to her editing the two-volume Women’s Seder Sourcebook and Women’s Passover Companion in 2002. In 1993 she began teaching on the summer faculty for the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel, eventually becoming director of alumni initiatives for the program. She organized a groundbreaking national conference for Jewish women in 1997, held at Yale. After serving briefly as adjunct faculty at Hebrew College in 2003, she became Dean of Students in 2005, then Dean of the Rabbinical School from 2006 to 2017, before becoming President of Hebrew College in 2018. She is the first woman to hold that position. Honored as one of Newsweek’s 50 most influential rabbis from 2011 to 2013, Anisfeld has been praised for encouraging her diverse students to pursue their own visions of the rabbinate and bring Torah to bear on contemporary issues of personal meaning and social justice. 


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox

Read the latest from JWA from your inbox.

sign up now

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Sharon Cohen Anisfeld." (Viewed on February 25, 2024) <>.