Gerson D. Cohen

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Gerson D. Cohen
Position Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Began 1972
Ended 1986
Personal details
Born (1924-08-26)August 26, 1924
New York City
Died August 15, 1991(1991-08-15) (aged 66)
New York City

Gerson David Cohen (August 26, 1924 – August 15, 1991) was a Jewish historian, a Conservative rabbi, and the Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America from 1972–86. 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.