Posts Tagged: Women

Immersed in History



by Rabbi Jen Gubitz It was raining out, gloomy as ever. On an NYC day like this, all you want to do is cancel plans and make every attempt to stay dry. But a plan had been made to meet at 3pm – the six of us trying to coordinate our schedules for weeks prior […]

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Women On and Off the Bimah



by Rabbi Ilene Harkavy Haigh A photo appeared recently on Facebook. It was a picture of the women in my rabbinical school class and Rabbi Sally Priesand, taken on the morning of our ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and on the 40th anniversary of her ordination. Rabbi Priesand, the first woman […]

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Can It Be That Only Men Were at Sinai?



Can it be that only men were at Sinai? When we read the Asseret HaDibrot this Shavuot, do they apply only to men? Is there some proof that the brain power or the moral worth of a woman is less than a man? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding no. As […]

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Change is Inevitable; Growth is Optional



by Cantor Susan Caro While I did not grow up with a female cantor at my congregation, I was fortunate spend many summers at our URJ camps, both as a camper and as a staff member and songleader. It is there that the spark of Jewish music was ignited for me, and where I found […]

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40 Years of Women on the Bimah

Women in the Rabbinate: Equal Leaders in Our Community



by Rabbi Mary L. Zamore Recently, a friend referred to me as rabbah, the Hebrew word for woman rabbi. Strangely, I was startled. I have always referred to myself in Hebrew as rav, the Hebrew for a male rabbi. When I was ordained, the term rabbah did not exist, so for the past 15 years […]

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Dreams Can Come True



by Cantor Deborah Katchko Gray In the new home of the National Museum of American Jewish History, a Women Cantors’ Network postcard shares space in a display case with one of Bella Abzug’s hats. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined such a pairing. Likewise, in early 1982, neither could I have imagined […]

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Women of Great Imagination



by Rabbi Stephanie Kolin There’s a story told about East End Temple in New York City, the congregation in which I grew up. For 16 years, Rabbi Deborah Hirsch was my rabbi and rabbi to many families like mine. One day, a young boy I used to babysit, Matt, was walking with his mom; they […]

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I Am Proud to Be a Jewish Woman Because…



All May, we’re talking about the 40th anniversary of women in the rabbinate – but we’re also raising up the many ways that women have impacted, affected, and contributed to Reform Judaism. On Facebook and Twitter, we asked Jewish women to finish the sentence, “I am proud to be a Jewish woman because…” A few […]

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Just Like All the Other Moms



by Arlene Sarah Chernow On May 13, I will watch my youngest daughter become Rabbi Ilana Mills, joining her sisters, Rabbi Mari Chernow and Rabbi Jordana Chernow-Reader in the rabbinate. Like most mothers (and fathers, too!), I have always hoped that my daughters would find fulfilling, meaningful work that matches their skills and talents, and […]

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Jane Evans: A Renaissance Woman Remembered



Jane Evans wasn’t a rabbi.  Nonetheless, she was quite a force in Reform Judaism, perhaps even its matriarch.  Beginning in 1933, and for the next 43 years, she was the executive director of what is now the Women of Reform Judaism.  From 1976 to 1979 she served as administrator of the Union’s building at 838 […]

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40 Years of Women on the Bimah

Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age: Looking to Tweens and Teens for Inspiration



by Rabbi Carole B. Balin, Ph.D. This year marks a double simcha for American Jews. It is the 40th anniversary of the ordination of the first woman rabbi and the 90th anniversary of the first girl to become a bat mitzvah during a worship service. I wonder whether Judith Kaplan – who pioneered the bat […]

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40 Years of Women on the Bimah

“What is More Important – Your Judaism or Your Feminism?”



by Rabbi Laura Geller Let me remind you what the Jewish world was like in 1976, the year I was ordained as the third woman rabbi in the Reform Movement, just four years after the ordination of Sally Priesand. I had been the only woman in my class; there were as yet no women professors […]

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40 Years of Women on the Bimah

Thoughts on Celebrating Rabbi Priesand’s Ordination



by Rabbi Denise L. Eger On this 40th anniversary of Rabbi Sally Priesand’s ordination, I am reflecting on the impact of that moment on our own Reform Judaism, the larger Jewish world and the implications on my own life. Rabbi Priesand is not just the first woman rabbi of contemporary times, but she is a […]

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Deepening the Bond Between Mothers and Daughters



by Susan Alexander One of my favorite weekends of the year is when I facilitate OSRUI’s Mother & Daughter Kallah. This is a program designed for mothers, grandmothers, aunts and the girls they love ages 5-12. The Mother & Daughter Kallah is open to mothers, grandmothers, and aunts, and the girls they love ages 5-12. […]

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