Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Ohio Moments


UC grad was first woman rabbi in U.S.

On June 3, 1972, Hebrew Union College president Alfred Gottschalkordained Sally Jane Priesand - America's first female rabbi - at the Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati.

Born in Cleveland in 1946, Priesand intended to become a teacher when she enrolled at the University of Cincinnati. But before she received her bachelor's degree in English, she became interested in Judaism. (She described her upbringing as secular.) When she applied to enter Hebrew Union College's rabbinical program, the administration was skeptical. Other women had been accepted only to leave in order to marry. But Priesand stayed.

In 1972, Priesand was selected Ohio's Outstanding Young Woman of the Year. Since 1981, she has been senior rabbi at Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, N.J.

- Rebecca Goodman

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com or call (513) 768-8361.




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