Born this day in 1946: Sally J. Priesand (b. 1946), the first woman in the U.S. to be ordained a rabbi. Now retired, Priesand enjoys being Rabbi Emierita of the Monmouth Reform Temple in Trinton Falls, New Jersey.
“I decided I wanted to be a rabbi in 1962 at the age of 16. Fortunately, my parents gave me one of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child: the courage to dare and to dream. With their encouragement, I was able to remain focused on my goal, relatively unconcerned that no woman had ever been ordained rabbi by a theological seminary and determined to succeed despite the doubts I heard expressed in the organized Jewish community.… When I decided to study for the rabbinate, I never thought much about being a pioneer, nor was it my intention to champion the rights of women. I just wanted to be a rabbi.”
—Rabbi Sally Priesand
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