Gerson D. Cohen

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Gerson D. Cohen was a Jewish historian, a Conservative rabbi, and the Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America from 1972-1986. He was born in New York in 1924. He was especially known for ordaining the first female rabbi in Conservative Judaism in 1985.[1] He appointed a special commission to study the issue of ordaining women as rabbis, which met between 1977 and 1978, and consisted of 11 men and three women; the women were Marian Siner Gordon, an attorney, Rivkah Harris, an Assyriologist, and Francine Klagsbrun, a writer.[2] After years of discussion, the JTS faculty voted to ordain women as rabbis and as cantors in 1983.[3]

Cohen died in New York in 1991.


  1. ^ Goldman, Ari L. (August 19, 1991). "Gerson D. Cohen Is Dead at 66; Ex-Chancellor of Jewish Seminary". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Francine Klagsbrun | Jewish Women's Archive". Retrieved 2015-09-07. 
  3. ^ Keller, Rosemary Skinner; Rosemary Radford Ruether; Marie Cantlon (2006). Encyclopedia of women and religion in North America, Volume 2. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. p. 551. ISBN 0-253-34687-8.