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women rabbis

  • News Brief

    Berlin’s Jewish community elected a female rabbi to a pulpit position. This marks the first time in Berlin that a female rabbi has been recognized by the official community. More ▸

  • Conservative Decision on Gays Will Be a Watershed, Either Way

    Whatever decision the Conservative movement reaches next week on its approach to homosexuality, it will be a watershed. The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, the movement’s highest legal authority, is expected to vote on five separate teshuvot, or responsa, that range from a complete overturn of the traditional prohibition on homosexual intercourse to a… More ▸

  • Reforming Europe Progressive Judaism Sees Rebirth on Continent Where It Was Spawned

    Sarah Rubenstein, an American fashion designer living in Florence, recalls with bemusement an incident she feels conveys the perception of Reform Judaism in Italy. A rabbi from her adopted synagogue, Shir Hadash, one of only three Reform congregations in Italy, was attending a Chanukah party incognito at the Great Synagogue of Florence last year. The… More ▸

  • Reforming Europe the Fall — and Rise — of Reform in Germany

    They were as German as their non-Jewish neighbors. They loved Goethe and Mendelssohn. Their synagogues had organs like those in the best churches. “Yekkes” — German Jews, the originators of Reform Judaism — were, and are, proud of their heritage. Much of that heritage was lost in the Holocaust. For the most part, the few… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A documentary film about female rabbis was nominated for a New York Emmy Award. “And the Gates Opened: Women in the Rabbinate,” produced by the Jewish Theological Seminary and Diva Communications, got the nod in the outstanding religious programming category. More ▸

  • Female Mohels Add Warmth — and Controversy — to Old Tradition

    When Dr. Debra Weiss-Ishai watched her son’s brit milah two years ago, she thought to herself, I could do this better. Not just technically, although as a pediatrician she had done numerous medical circumcisions. She felt she could bring a warmth and spiritual beauty to the ritual in ways her old-school mohel, who she says… More ▸

  • As Conservatives Question Halachah, Some Predict an Exodus to the Right

    Some Conservative Jews were taken aback last month when Rabbi Neil Gillman urged the movement to stop calling itself halachic. But for Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg, Gillman simply confirmed what he’d been saying for 20 years. “Until now there has been the widespread assumption in the Conservative movement that it is a halachic movement,” or a… More ▸