Women leading services
Highlight these dates on your calendar
Friday, May 10, Thursday, May 16 and Thursday, May 23
We hope to see you Friday (May 10) at services when we will be celebrating Sisterhood! If you have purple, we encourage you to wear purple. If you don't have purple, we encourage you to wear white. If neither purple nor white is your thing, then we encourage you to wear something else! Services start at 7:30, and we hope you can make it. The theme of this year's Sisterhood Shabbat is "A Woman of Valor." An easy theme, because we have lots of them in Sisterhood!
You've already marked the two Thursdays after Sisterhood Shabbat on your calendar, right? May 16 is our Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) celebration and May 23 is our presentation on Alzheimer's. Both events are going to be great!
Our Sisterhood will be leading services this Friday. One trailblazer in women being accepted as service leaders was Ray Frank.
Ray Frank's position in American Jewry was truly a novel one. In 1890, she became the first Jewish woman to preach formally from a pulpit in the United States, inaugurating a career as "the Girl Rabbi of the Golden West" that would help to blaze new paths for women in Judaism. Virtually overnight, Frank became a sensation in the Jewish world, and she would remain so for nearly a decade.
Coinciding with a broader emergence of public roles for Jewish women, Frank's career reinvigorated and redirected an ongoing conversation about the proper boundaries of the female sphere. Earlier in the 19th century, the expansion of American Jewish women's social and cultural opportunities had not been matched by expansion of their religious roles.
Despite the fact that Frank claimed to have no interest in becoming a rabbi, her actions forced American Jewry to consider the possibility of the ordination of women seriously for the first time. Frank spoke passionately about the abilities and spirituality of Jewish women and had no doubt about the necessity of their becoming a greater presence in the synagogue. The content of her speeches and her presence as a female religious leader not only served as an inspiration to the women who heard her, but also demonstrated to the Jewish world that Jewish women were ready for widespread change.
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