Sally Priesand: First American Female Rabbi

Today in Jewish History: June 3, 1972

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Priesand served as the part-time rabbi of Temple Beth El in Elizabeth, NJ, and as a chaplain at Manhattan's Lenox Hill Hospital from 1979 to 1981. In 1981, she became the rabbi at Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, NJ, where she nurtured the kind of community that, as a student, she had hoped a congregation could become. Priesand is recognized and admired as a pioneering figure in world Jewry. The Rabbi Sally J. Priesand Visiting Professorship of Jewish Women's Studies was created in her honor to support a visiting professor every year on one of the campuses of HUC-JIR. Priesand has also been active within the larger Reform movement, serving on the executive boards of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Rabbinic Alumni Association, and the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.


Rabbi Priesand retired from Monmouth Reform Temple on June 30, 2006 after 25 years of service to that congregation.

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