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First Woman Rabbi Becomes Assistant at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue

June 2, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Edward E. Klein, senior rabbi of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, announced today that Rabbi Sally Priesand, the first woman to be ordained a rabbi, has been appointed assistant rabbi of the synagogue, a congregation of 750 families.

Dr. Klein said, “Rabbi Priesand was selected because of her dedication to the ministry and her splendid record in student pulpits in the south and midwest. She is extremely well equipped for distinguished service as an assistant rabbi by virtue of her deep interest in youth, teaching, preaching, counseling, and pastoral visiting.” Dr. Klein added that the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, founded in 1907 by the late Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, has always pioneered in social and community action, “and now we are proudly the first to include on our staff a woman rabbi,” he said.

Rabbi Priesand will begin her services at the synagogue Aug. 1. She is 25 years old and was born in Fairview Park, Ohio, where she attended the public schools. She received her baccalaureate degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1968. She has served student pupils in Champaign, Illinois, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Jackson, Michigan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and, during the past year, was assistant at the historic Wise Temple in Cincinnati. In 1971 Rabbi Priesand was honored by B’nai B’rith Women at their International Triennial convention in Washington, D.C. for her pioneering role in Jewish religious life. She will receive her diploma at the Cincinnati School of the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion tomorrow.

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