From Antoinette Brown Blackwell to Sally Priesand: An Historical Perspective on the Emergence of Women in the American Rabbinate

By Jonathan D. Sarna

American Jewish Archives, 1996

Sarna offers a historical perspective on the emergence of women in the American rabbinate. He states that Judaism -- even Reform Judaism -- has not historically been at the forefront or change in American religious life. On the contrary, as a minority faith rooted in a system of law, blessed with a long religious tradition, and cursed with a long history of persecution, Judaism has has been reluctant to lead the way into uncharted religious territory. Initiatives for change -- in this case the ordination of women, but the same was true for mixed seating -- have generally come from without. Progressive Judaism has then moved, almost always more quickly than other branches of Judaism, to respond to new social and religious developments, challenging other branches of Judaism to respond in kind.

Topic: History, Rabbinate, Change, Liberal Judaism, Women

Name of Publication: Women Rabbis: Exploration and Celebration

Editor: Zola, Gary P.

Page Number(s): 43-53

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Genre: Conference Presentation

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Sarna, Jonathan D. From Antoinette Brown Blackwell to Sally Priesand: An Historical Perspective on the Emergence of Women in the American Rabbinate. Women Rabbis: Exploration and Celebration. American Jewish Archives. 1996: 43-53. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=12095


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