Laura Geller

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Laura Geller (born 1950) is an American rabbi who in 1994 became the first woman to lead a major metropolitan congregation, specifically Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills.[1][2] She was also the first female rabbi to become Hillel director at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, a job she held for fourteen years.[3] While at Hillel, she co-organized the national conference "Illuminating the Unwritten Scroll: Women's Spirituality and Jewish Tradition." [1] Geller has been awarded the A.C.L.U. of Southern California Award for Fostering Racial and Cultural Harmony, the Alan J. Kassin Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement, the Los Angeles County Commission on the Status of Women Recognition Award, and the Woman of the Year Award from the California state legislature. In 2000 she was declared one of the "Hundred Most Distinguished Brown University Alumni of the Past Century," and in 2007 the Jewish Forward named her one of the "Forward 50 Individuals who are doing or saying things that are making a difference in the way American Jews view themselves (and who) have left a mark." [1] The Jewish Forward also named her one of the “50 Most Influential Woman Rabbis in America," and the PBS documentary The Jewish Americans featured her.[1] Geller was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1975.[3] She served on the Board of Governors of the Hebrew Union College from 2001 until 2008.[4] She is a Rabbinic Fellow at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.[1]

Geller was the founding Chair of the City of Beverly Hills Human Relations Commission, and was one of the first graduates of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality.[4] Prior to her rabbinate, she was the director of the American Jewish Congress branch in Los Angeles from 1990 until 1994.[2] She graduated from Brown University in 1971.[4]

In 2010 she was featured in the documentary film Kol Ishah: The Rabbi is a Woman, directed by Hannah Heer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Rabbi Laura Geller | Rabbi Jonathan Aaron | Rabbi Jill Zimmerman | Los Angeles". Tebh.org. 2006-08-24. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  2. ^ a b "Laura Geller | Jewish Women's Archive". Jwa.org. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  3. ^ a b Women imagine change: a global ... - Eugenia C. DeLamotte, Natania Meeker, Jean F. O'Barr - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  4. ^ a b c "Rabbi Laura Geller". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16.