Special Survey the Placement of Women Rabbis
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Special Survey the Placement of Women Rabbis

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Five of the 20 women ordained as Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis last May and June have been placed as assistant rabbis and four have been named as solo rabbis, according to the annual Jewish Telegraphic Agency survey of such placements. Solo rabbis is a term indicating that a synagogue is too small to either need or be able to afford more than one rabbi.

The 20 brings to 130 the number of women ordained as rabbis since the practice of ordination of women began in 1972.

The JTA was also informed that two of the new women rabbis have returned to study to earn advanced degrees and that several have taken administrative posts in both Jewish and general agencies.

The only woman to have received ordination as a Conservative rabbi last June, Nina Feinstein, has returned to her native city, Dallas, apparently without seeking placement. A spokesperson told the JTA that the plans of Feinstein were not known. Feinstein is the second woman to be ordained as a Conservative rabbi.


Seven women were graduated as Reconstructionist rabbis. Among them are Avis Miller of Pawtucket, R.I., named assistant rabbi of Adath Israel Congregation, a Conservative congregation in Washington. She was described as the first woman to serve in that post.

Sheila Weinberg of New York has been named rabbi of Beth Am Shalom, a Conservative congregation in Penn Valley, Pa. She is the first woman to serve that congregation. She is a solo rabbi.

Sue Levy of Abington, Pa. has been named rabbi of Beth Shalom, a Conservative synagogue in Dover, Del. This also is a solo pulpit. Judy Gary of Richmond, Va. is engaged in full-time study for a doctorate in Jewish philosophy at Temple University. Lauren Levy of Plainsboro, NJ has been named program director at the Hillel of Rutgers University. Joan Sacks has returned to Philadelphia to be with her husband while she plans her next steps as a rabbi. Gail Glicksman of Yeadon, Pa. has been appointed to a position in the health professions division of the University of Pennsylvania.

Five of the Reform women rabbis were named to posts as assistant rabbis. They are: Shira Milgrom of Berkeley, Cal., at the Jewish Community Center in White Plains, NY; Judith Cohen-Rosenberg of Brooklyn, at B’rith Kodesh Temple in Rosenberg, NY; Ellen Greenspann of Scarsdale, NY, at Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia; Paula Winnig of Milwaukee, at Temple Sinai of Roslyn in Roslyn Heights, NY; and Sue Levi Elwell of Buffalo, NY, at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles.

Margaret Holub of Tustin, Cal. has been named an advocate in the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.

Margaret Meyer of Cincinnati has been named rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom of Middletown, Ohio. Linda Motzkin of Los Angeles has been named co-rabbi with her husband, Jonathan Rubenstein, at Temple Sinai in Saratoga, NY.

Julie Schwartz of Cincinnati has received an appointment as a U.S. Navy chaplain, with the rank of lieutenant, junior grade, in San Francisco. Eve Ben-Ora, of Minneapolis, has been named director of education and programming at Temple Emanuel in Denver.

Ruth Langer of Pittsburgh did not accept a pulpit appointment because she married Dr. Jonathan Sarna, a member of the faculty of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), where she had been ordained a Reform rabbi. Sarna is on a sabbatical in Israel. Langer is studying for a doctorate in rabbinic literature at the Jerusalem campus of the HUC-JIR.

Nina Mizrachi has been named assistant director of the Department of Outreach of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the central national agency of Reform congregations.

Because the rabbinical schools of the HUC-JIR, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the Conservative school, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College all have women studying for the rabbinate as the 1986-87 academic year begins, the supply of women rabbis seems certain to grow in future years.

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