In Praise Of Women Rabbis


As officers of the Israel Center of Conservative Judaism, in Flushing, Queens, we are writing to inform the readership of The Jewish Week about the very positive experience we have with our female rabbi, in an egalitarian Conservative congregation. We are a community made up of both young and old members who enjoy learning and growing with our rabbi.

Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin, a graduate of the Ziegler School in California, has been our rabbi for two years and has just renewed her contract with us. Rabbi Fryer Bodzin is serving the Israel Center of Conservative Judaism in all capacities: teaching, preaching, pastoral care, serving as a liaison to the greater community and interfaith work. Rabbi Fryer Bodzin has created an inclusive atmosphere to welcome gays and lesbians, interfaith couples and others who have felt marginalized.

President Marilyn Kaufman says, “A woman is uniquely qualified to be a rabbi.”

After two years of a difficult search we found the perfect candidate who just happened to be a woman! (See the Jewish Week front-page article of Nov. 13, 2009 – “In Northeast Queens, Tradition And Change.”) Israel Center of Conservative Judaism would like to recommend that when looking for a rabbi, one look for the best qualified and best match — don’t be overly concerned with gender. The more candidates, the greater the possibility of finding the right match for your shul. Be thankful that your “pool” includes both men and women.

Marilyn Kaufman, President

Irene Meyerowitz,Vice President

Betty Shaffer, Secretary

Israel Center of  Conservative Judaism Flushing, Queens