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Protest greets Berlin’s first female rabbi

Berlin’s senior Orthodox rabbi is protesting the installation of the city’s first female rabbi.In a bitter letter addressed to the head of Berlin’s Jewish community, Yitzchak Ehrenberg railed against the June 3 installation of Gesa Ederberg at the Oranienburgerstrasse Synagogue. Ederberg was ordained by the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. In his May 25 letter to Gideon Joffe, a facsimile of which was obtained by JTA, Ehrenberg said he was deeply disturbed that Ederberg had referred to him as a “colleague” at a recent Jewish community event. Ehrenberg said he would not have attended had he known Ederberg was there. Ehrenberg, chairman of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany, demanded that Joffe “show the female rabbi her proper place” if he wants to prevent a split in the community.Ederberg wrote in an e-mail that Ehrenberg “has all the right in the world to his own views, but he cannot impose them on everybody.” She said the celebration of her installation would show the multifaceted quality of Berlin and German Jewry.