DOI: https://doi.org/10.21847/1728-9343.2014.3(129).25754

Women in Rabbinate: The American Experience

Anna Mariia Basauri Zuzina

Abstract


The article by Anna Mariya Basauri Ziuzina "Women in Rabbinate: The American Experience" deals with the history of the making of female rabbinate in the USA. Since the granting of semikhah (rabbi ordination) is requires obtaining education in theological educational institutions, the author pays special attention to Jewish educational settings. In the beginning of the article the position of the Orthodox Judaism is described. For example in the Yeshiva University women are prohibited to enter the rabbinical department, because according to Halakha (traditional Jewish religious legislation) women are strongly restricted to become rabbis. The author of the article is convinced that this position will remain stable in the nearest future. Further in the article the process of admitting women to the rabbinical departments and granting them semikhah in different denominational educational institutions (Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Theological Seminary) is analyzed. The author sees the changes in the attitude towards women as a part of the American feminist movement in 1960-70's. The problems women face during their studies and after ordination are considered in the article. The common problems for all the four above mentioned denominations are: women have less chances of receiving a position of rabbi comparing to men; it is more problematic for women to find balance between the rabbi functions and family obligations. At the same time women in rabbinate bring new values and new way of management to the Jewish community (co-rabbinate), create new religious rituals commemorating special women life stages (bat mitzvah, ceremony of name giving for a girl etc).


Keywords


Rabbinate; Conservative Judaism; Reform Judaism; Reconstructionist Judaism; semikhah; ordination; Jewish community; women in Halakha

References


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REFERENCES

About JTS, available at: http://www.jtsa.edu/About_JTS.xml

An Extraordinary Life. Your Career as a Rabbi, Cantor, Educator, or Jewish Communal Professional - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, available at: http://huc.edu/misc/docs/Jewish%20Paths%2011-07.pdf

Ezrat Nashim, available at: http://jwa.org/system/files/mediaobjects/Ezrat_Nashim.JPG

Interview with First Female Rabbi. Nov. 25, 1973: Rabbi Sally Priesand talks about her work at a N.Y. synagogue, available at: http://abcnews.go.com/Archives/video/sally-priesand-first-female-rabbi-10124653

Statistics and Where Alumni Serve, available at: http://huc.edu/alumni/statistics.shtml

Women in the Rabbinate: Female Rabbis or Rabbinic Feminists?, The Jewish Observer, May 1984, pp. 28-29, available at: http://www.jofa.org/pdf/Batch%201/0035.pdf

Alpert R., Milgram G. (1996) Women in the Reconstructionist Rabbinate, Religious Institutions and Women’s Leadership: New Roles Inside the Mainstream, Ed. by Catherine Wessinger, University of South Carolina Press, pp.291-310.

Liebman, C.S. (2007), Yeshiva University, Encyclopedia Judaica, Fred Skolkin, editor-in-chief; Michael Berenbaum, executive editor, 2nd edition, Thomson Gale, Vol. 21, pр. 314-315.

Marder J. R. (1996), Are Women Changing the Rabbinate? A Reform Perspective, Religious Institutions and Women’s Leadership: New Roles Inside the Mainstream, Ed. by Catherine Wessinger, University of South Carolina Press, pp.271-290.

Nadell P. S., Sally Jane Priesand, available at: http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/priesand-sally-jane

Panitz M. (2007), Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), Encyclopedia Judaica, Fred Skolkin, editor-in-chief; Michael Berenbaum, executive editor, 2nd edition, Thomson Gale, Vol. 11, pp. 328-331.

Raphael M. L. (2003), Judaism in America, Columbia University Press, New York, 234 р.

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Schulman S. R. (1996), Faithful Daughters and Ultimate Rebels: The First Class of Conservative Jewish Women Rabbis, Religious Institutions and Women’s Leadership: New Roles Inside the Mainstream, Ed. by Catherine Wessinger, University of South Carolina Press, pp. 311-331.

Tabak R. P. (2007), Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Encyclopedia Judaica, Fred Skolkin, editor-in-chief; Michael Berenbaum, executive editor, 2nd edition, Thomson Gale, Vol. 17, p. 149.

Yeshiva University, official site, available at: http://www.yu.edu


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