Women rabbis

Female Rabbis At Forefront Of Pioneering Prayer Communities

Charismatic spiritual leaders, most of whom are on the West Coast, stressing innovation and outreach.


Los Angeles — A decade ago in Los Angeles, two organizations opened their doors with a call to prayer — or they would have if they had any doors to open.

Rabbi Naomi Levy and the Nashuva band drum playing on the beach.  Phyllis Osman

Advancing New Reasons To Ordain Orthodox Women

Special To The Jewish Week

The recent conferral of the title “maharat,” the equivalent of “rabbi,” to three Orthodox women has rekindled a long-standing debate within the Orthodox community about ordaining women.

Elli Fischer

Major Pay Gap For Reform Women Rabbis

Despite movement’s stated commitment to equal pay, women earn as much as $43,000 less than their male colleagues.

Staff Writer
Forty years after Sally Priesand became the Reform movement’s first woman rabbi, Reform women rabbis continue to dramatically trail their male counterparts in pay. A study conducted by the movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis found that women earn as much as $43,000 less annually. The study also documented the relatively small number of women rabbis leading large Reform congregations.
“We are fighting today for some of the same issues I fought for 40 years ago,” says Rabbi Sally Priesand.

JTS Women Grads Struggling For Pulpits

After some improvement in recent years, gender bias charge resurfaces this year from seminarians.

Staff Writer

When she began looking for jobs in February, Gail Schwartz knew she had the skills to be a pulpit rabbi. After all, she had served as an assistant rabbi at several synagogues while studying at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

But after interviewing with 11 Conservative synagogues that were looking for both solo and assistant rabbis, and getting only one callback, Schwartz (not her real name) was stunned.

“It was confusing because I had demonstrated an ability to handle the job,” she said.

Francine Green Roston says she faced sexual harassment as assistant rabbi of a large suburban congregation.
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