Timeline of women rabbis

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This is a timeline of women rabbis.

  • 1935: In Germany, Regina Jonas was ordained privately and became the world's first female rabbi.[1]
  • 1972: American Sally Priesand became the first female rabbi ordained in America, and is believed to be only the second woman ever to be formally ordained in the history of Judaism.[2]
  • 1976: Michal Mendelsohn became the first presiding female rabbi in a North American congregation when she was hired by Temple Beth El Shalom in San Jose, California.[7][8]
  • 1977: American Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and her husband Dennis Sasso became the first couple to serve jointly as rabbis when they were hired by Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis.[10]
  • 1985: American Amy Eilberg became the first female rabbi ordained in Conservative Judaism.[25]
  • 1986: Amy Perlin became the first female rabbi in America to start her own congregation, Temple B'nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, which she was the founding rabbi of in 1986.[26][27]
  • 1987: American Joy Levitt became the first female president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.[31]
  • 1992: American rabbi Karen Soria became the first female rabbi to serve in the U.S. Marines, which she did from 1992 until 1996.[21][46][47]
  • 1993: Rebecca Dubowe became the first Deaf woman to be ordained as a rabbi in the United States.[48]
  • 1993: Chana Timoner became the first female rabbi to hold an active duty assignment as a chaplain in the U.S. Army.[56][57]
  • 1994: Rabbi Laura Geller became the first woman to lead a major metropolitan congregation in the United States, specifically Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills.[60][61]
  • 1999: American Tamara Kolton became the very first rabbi of either sex in Humanistic Judaism.[69]
  • 2000: Helga Newmark, born in Germany, became the first female Holocaust survivor ordained as a rabbi. She was ordained in America.[70][71][72][73]
  • 2002: American rabbi Pamela Frydman became the first female president of OHALAH (Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal.) [81]
  • 2003: Rabbi Janet Marder was named the first female president of the Reform Movement's Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) on March 26, 2003, making her the first woman to lead a major rabbinical organization and the first woman to lead any major Jewish co-ed religious organization in the United States.[82]
  • 2004: Barbara Aiello, born in the United States, became the first female rabbi in Italy.[90]
  • 2008: Rabbi Julie Schonfeld was named the new executive vice president of the Conservative movement's Rabbinical Assembly, becoming the first female rabbi to serve in the chief executive position of an American rabbinical association.[98][99]
  • 2009: Karen Soria, born in America, became the first female rabbi in the Canadian Forces; she was assigned to the 3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.[20][103]
  • 2009: Alysa Stanton, born in Cleveland and ordained by a Reform Jewish seminary in Cincinnati, became the world's first black female rabbi.[104][105] Later in 2009 she began work as a rabbi at Congregation Bayt Shalom, a small majority-white synagogue in Greenville, North Carolina, making her the first African-American rabbi to lead a majority-white congregation.[106]
  • 2011: American Rachel Isaacs became the first openly lesbian rabbi ordained by the Conservative Jewish movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary of America.[113]
  • 2012: Ilana Mills was ordained, thus making her, Jordana Chernow-Reader, and Mari Chernow the first three female siblings in America to become rabbis.[116][117]
  • 2012: Alona Lisitsa became the first female rabbi in Israel to join a religious council. .[118] Although Leah Shakdiel, who was not a rabbi, joined the Yerucham religious council in 1988 after a Supreme Court decision in her favor, no female rabbi had joined a religious council until Lisitsa joined Mevasseret Zion’s in 2012.[118] She was appointed to the council three years before that, but the Religious Affairs Ministry delayed approving her appointment until Israel’s High Court of Justice ordered it to.[119]
  • 2012: Emily Aviva Kapor, who had been ordained privately by a Conservadox rabbi in 2005, began living as a woman in 2012, thus becoming the first openly transgender female rabbi.[120]
  • 2013: In October 2013, Rabbi Deborah Waxman was designated president-elect of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.[121][122] She took office in January, 2014. As the President, she is believed to be the first woman and first lesbian to lead a Jewish congregational union, and the first female rabbi and first lesbian to lead a Jewish seminary; the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College is both a congregational union and a seminary.[63][123]

References[edit]

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