Sally Opened Doors: The Story of the First Woman Rabbi (Hardcover)
Sally Priesand, the first American woman to be ordained a rabbi, opened doors for Jewish women's full participation in Jewish life in this third book by Sandy Sasso about courageous women from Jewish history.
"We are fortunate to have this new resource about a trailblazing Jewish feminist who would not take no for an answer." --Emily Schneider, The Jewish Book Council
Rabbi Sally J. Priesand, America's first female rabbi, finished her rabbinical studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in June 1972. At that time, there were no women reaching at seminaries and few Jewish women leaders. One of the professors would not sign her diploma. Congregations were reluctant to bring a woman to their pulpits. She was the last person in her graduating class to be offered a job.Rabbi Priesand became the assistant rabbi at a large synagogue in New York City, where she served for seven years, but when the congregation was ready to hire its senior rabbi, she was not even considered. For two years she was not able to find a synagogue willing to accept a woman as its only rabbi. Then in 1981 she became the rabbi of Monmouth Reform Temple in New Jersey, where she served for twenty-five years, until her retirement, upon which she became rabbi emerita.Rabbi Sally Priesand became a leader in the Reform movement: she introduced inclusive God-language into worship; and she worked on behalf of those experiencing poverty, hunger, and homelessness.Thirty-seven years before Sally, another woman, Regina Jonas, has become a rabbi in Berlin, Germany, but her story was forgotten for a long time. With Sally, a new era began for women who wanted to become rabbis. Two years after her ordination, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College ordained Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso (1974). The Conservative movement ordained Rabbi Amy Eilberg in 1985, and Open Orthodoxy ordained Rabbi Sara Hurwitz in 2000.There are more than a thousand women rabbis in the world today.