1. Religion & Spirituality

Women Rabbis in Judaism

Can women be rabbis according to Judaism? Does Jewish culture accept women rabbis? Who was the first woman rabbi?
Asenath Barzani
Asenath Barzani, a 17th century Kurdish woman, is considered by some scholars to be the first woman rabbi in Judaism. They believe her role as teacher and head of a yeshiva and her wisdom and learning - which earned her the title of Tanna'it (female Talmudic scholar) - qualify her for the title of rabbi.
Regina Jonas
Have you ever heard of Regina Jonas? If not, you should. Jonas became Judaism's first woman rabbi, when she was ordained in Berlin, Germany in 1930. Between her death in Auschwitz in 1944 and the discovery of her ordination papers in an East Berlin archive in 1991, she was forgotten. Thanks to the discovery of the papers, we can now remember this inspiring and righteous individual.
A History of Women's Ordination as Rabbis
Avi Hein writes about the history of women's ordination as rabbis according to the different branches of Judaism.
Pay Disparity between Men and Women Rabbis
This Washington Post article reveals the results of a study that focused on the gender gap between rabbis in the Conservative movement of Judaism.
Rabbi Amy Eilberg: First Conservative Woman Rabbi
Rabbi Amy Eilberg is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Rabbi Jackie Tabick: England's First Woman Rabbi
Jackie Tabick became the first woman ordained as a rabbi in England in 1975.
Rabbi Regina Jonas
This is a biography of the world's first woman rabbi, Regina Jonas, written by Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah in 2002.
Rabbi Regina Jonas
Katharina von Kellenbach, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at St. Mary's College of Maryland, provides this succinct and clear summary of the life of Regina Jonas, the first woman rabbi.
Rabbi Regina Jonas: 1902-1944
This is a brief biography of Rabbi Regina Jonas, the world's first woman rabbi, written by Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah.
Rabbi Regina Jonas: The First Woman Rabbi in the World
This Berlin Jewish Community site offers a biography in English of Regina Jonas, the first woman to be ordained a rabbi in Berlin.
Rabbi Regina Jonas: The First Woman Rabbi
Why has Regina Jonas, the first woman ever to be ordained as a rabbi in 1935, been forgotten?
Rabbi Sally J. Priesand: America's First Woman Rabbi
Read a biography of Rabbi Sally J. Priesand, America's first female rabbi. Rabbi Priesand was ordained in June, 1972, by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Rabbi Janet Marder: First female president of the CCRC
Rabbi Janet Marder, ordained in 1973, became the first female president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the rabbinic arm of Judaism's Reform movement.
Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso: Celebrating 30Years of Women as Rabbis
Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, the second woman rabbi and first Reconstructionist woman rabbi, wrote this article describing her personal experience becoming a woman rabbi and the great contributions women rabbis are making to Judaism and Jewish life.
Ray Frank 1861-1948
JewishVirtualLibrary.org offers this biography of Ray Frank, known as "the Girl Rabbi of the Golden West."
Ray Frank
In 1890 Ray Frank became the first Jewish woman to preach formally from a pulpit in the United States.
Timeline of Women in the Rabbinate
This is a timeline of Jewish women in the Rabbinate from 1846 to 1995.
TorahWeb.org: Can Women be Rabbis?
Rabbi Hershel Schachter provides an orthodox view on why women should not be ordained rabbis.
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