The First Fifty Years: A Jubilee in Prose and Poetry Honoring Women Rabbis

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ISBN: 978-0-88123-630-9

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Edited by Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, Jessica Greenbaum and Rabbi Hara E. Person

The ordination of Rabbi Sally J. Priesand in 1972 was a watershed moment in Jewish history. In The First Fifty Years, contributors from across the Jewish and gender spectrums reflect on the meaning of this moment and the ensuing decades, both personally and for the Jewish community. In short pieces of new prose, authors--many of them pioneering rabbis--share stories, insights, analysis, and celebrations of women in the rabbinate. These are intertwined with a wealth of poetry that poignantly captures the spirit of this anniversary. The volume is a deep, heartfelt tribute to women rabbis and their indelible impact on all of us.

Table of Contents
Read an excerpt from the introduction on RavBlog

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This collection serves as a mile marker along the journey, a momentary stopping place for reflection and commemoration. While we experience the evolution of women in the rabbinate as inevitable, that doesn't mean it was easy. These pages likewise acknowledge challenges and complexities of these fifty years, identifying some of the detours and roadblocks that still lie ahead... In a mere half century, rabbinic leadership effected a dramatic turning point in Jewish history, an acknowledgment that the voices that were silent or silenced, marginalized, unheard and unseen, are an essential part of the rich and variegated fabric of the Jewish story and must be included... Becoming the most beautifully diverse, inclusive, and thriving community of our highest aspirations, we all need to know what has led us here on the path to a healthy, equitable, and flourishing future.
--From the introduction by Rabbi Hara E. Person, chief executive of the Central Conference of American Rabbis

Despite the book's brevity, the importance of these pioneers and the significance of their impact never feel understated. These are often personal stories of inspiration, told with enthusiasm and sometimes with humor, but also an important look at feminism in recent history that readers outside of the Jewish faith will find approachable. ... A highly readable tribute to leaders in the Jewish faith.
-- Kirkus Reviews

ISBN 978-0-88123-630-9
Copyright © 2023
6"x 9"
Page Count: 168