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R.A.’s choice of female rabbi makes history

Julie Schonfeld was chosen as the first female rabbi to serve as chief executive of an American rabbinical association.

Schonfeld was named Wednesday as the new executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the Conservative movement’s rabbinic group. She will succeed Rabbi Joel Meyers, who will step down July 1.

A graduate of Yale University and ordained in 1997 by the Jewish Theological Seminary, Schonfeld is currently the Rabbinical Assembly’s director of rabbinic development.

In 2003, Rabbi Janet Marder became president of the CCAR, the Reform rabbinical association, becoming the first female rabbi to head a national rabbinical organization. Schonfeld’s hire makes her the first woman rabbi to serve as the professional head of such an association.

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