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Rabbis

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Rabbi Michelle Dardashti

Rabbi Michelle Dardashti currently serves as the Rabbi of Brown RISD Hillel and Associate University Chaplain for the Jewish Community at Brown.

Rabbi Sandra Lawson

Rabbi Sandra Lawson was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in a military family. She graduated from Saint Leo University magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.

Rachel Cowan, 1941 - 2018

Every inflection point in Rachel’s life became a source of mission and activism: as half of a young intermarried couple in the 1970s, she pushed for inclusivity in the Jewish community… When she became Jewish and then a rabbi (she was ordained in 1989 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion), she used her dual perspective as both outsider and insider to sense what was needed in the Jewish world.

Regina Persisted Book Cover

An Interview with Rabbi Sandy Sasso About Regina Jonas

by  Judith Rosenbaum

JWA Executive Director Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Rabbi Sandy Sasso about her 2018 children’s book, about the world’s first woman rabbi. Watch their fascinating conversation here, and learn about Regina Jonas’s legacy and impact on Rabbi Sasso and the other women rabbis who followed in her footsteps.

Topics: Rabbis, Fiction
Stock Image of Cat with Cat Food

I'm Over It

by Leah Berkowitz

I came to spend the rest of my afternoon hauling a case of cat food to the local housing project. I was glad to do it, though I didn’t know why the woman had reached out to our temple ... She was very happy to see me, but, in part due to the fact that I was wearing sneakers, I’m pretty sure she thought I was a well-meaning volunteer. When she did realize that I was, in fact, the rabbi, and not some emergency cat food delivery service, she got VERY EXCITED.

Stage with Microphone and Stool

Dear Male Comedian

by Leah Berkowitz

I spend a lot of time trying to shift the focus away from my appearance, my love life, and my sexuality. By sizing me up in front of my entire community, you undid three years of that work in 30 seconds.

Topics: Feminism, Comedy, Rabbis
Rabbi Jennifer Singer

Faith and Feminism

by Minnah Stein

Last year I met Rabbi Jennifer Singer, and I immediately looked up to her. She’s a strong, spiritual, and independent woman who commands the room with her lively personality. She’s an excellent rabbi, and I always leave her sermons with new ideas and ways of thinking. 

Josie Rosman Trip Photo

Lessons from Rabbi Lauren

by Josephine Rosman

All my life, I’ve been learning lessons both about the Torah and about how to live a fulfilling life from Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann at Kol Tzedek (my synagogue) in Philadelphia. From services and Torah school, to the time we spent together prepping for my bat mitzvah, Rabbi Lauren was the person who taught me how to look at Jewish texts in a new light, and turn them into something inspiring and relevant. She taught me about the concept of social justice, and how as Jews, we have a moral responsibility to make the world a better place. 

Dorrit Corwin and Rabbi Laura Geller

Rabbi Laura Geller: Torah of Jewish Feminism

by Dorrit Corwin

I wasn’t always easily identifiable as the Jewish feminist activist I am today. In fact, I was a Hebrew school drop-out ... but then I discovered Rabbi Laura Geller.

Rabbi Leah Berkowitz at her Ordination

The Consequences of Professional “Negging”

by Leah Berkowitz

Having started my career young (and single, and a woman), I feared that congregations wouldn’t take me seriously. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that, once congregations invited me to be their rabbi, they’ve treated me as one, without question.

Topics: Feminism, Rabbis

Bernard H. Mehlman

Rabbi Bernard Mehlman is the senior scholar at Temple Israel of Boston. In the 1980s, he made several trips to the Soviet Union and helped facilitate the emigration of several high-profile refuseniks in the Boston area.

Ronne Friedman

Ronne Friedman served as a rabbi at Temple Israel of Boston for more than thirty years. In the 1980s, he made several trips to the former Soviet Union and continued his engagement with the movement for Soviet Jewry after his return to Boston.

Roy B. Einhorn

Roy Einhorn has been the cantor at Temple Israel in Boston for more than 35 years. In the 1980s, he made several trips to the Soviet Union as part of the temple’s efforts to support refuseniks.
The Sisterhood 50: America's Influential Women Rabbis

Finding My Way Back to Rachel Adler

by Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr

In fact, for most of my life, I rejected the notion that I was a feminist. I was a self-decribed equalist. I did not want to be associated with anything resembling the bra-burning, Lilith-reading farbrente feminists I had learned about in school.

Topics: Rabbis
Rabbi Elana Zaiman and Forever Letter Composite

Writing Forever Letters with Rabbi Elana Zaiman

by Abby Richmond

Elana Zaiman was the first woman rabbi in a family chain of rabbis spanning six generations. Growing up in a traditional Conservative synagogue where women were not allowed to read from the Torah, Rabbi Zaiman’s decision to become a rabbi and forward a new iteration of her family’s legacy made her a pioneer in her family history.

Topics: Rabbis
Woman Reading Torah

A Dance on the Bimah

by Rachel King

I sensed some apprehension in the sanctuary as we settled into our seats for Rosh Hashanah services. The congregation was experiencing a first: a woman was leading the clergy for the first time in congregational history. Joining her on the bimah was our second rabbi, also a woman. I knew there were some in the congregation who wondered what it would be like to begin this new year without male leadership at the top.

Susan Grossman

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

Elyse Goldstein

As one of the first women rabbis in Canada, Elyse Goldstein has broken down barriers by founding inclusive communities for learning and prayer.

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.

Karen Fox

As a rabbi and a psychotherapist, Karen Fox guides and supports clients, congregants, and students on their different journeys.

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.

Tamara Cohn Eskenazi

For Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, editor of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, becoming a rabbi was the culmination of a lifelong examination of the intersection of women and faith.

Lisa Edwards

As a rabbi serving the oldest LGBT synagogue in Los Angeles, Lisa Edwards has worked for decades to make the Jewish community a more welcoming place for gays, lesbians, and transgender Jews.

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