Jewish Repentance: Tough Demands

August 10, 2010

by Rabbi Jill Maderer

Is it enough to confess to God?  What if it’s too messy to mend a relationship with a person?  Last Friday night, our Interfaith Families Connection Group hosted a Shabbat dinner about the High Holy Days.  When I shared this High Holy Day prayer, it sparked passionate debate about tshuvah, repentance.  The text reads: “For transgressions against God, the Day of Atonement atones; but for transgressions of one human being against another, the Day of Atonement does not atone until they have made peace with one another.” Read the rest of this entry »

Why Haven’t We Heard of the First Female Rabbi, Regina Jonas?

August 9, 2010

Can you name the first female rabbi? It’s a trick question, because almost 20 years ago, the answer changed. Most people familiar with the history of the rabbinate or Jewish feminism would proudly answer that the first female rabbi was Sally Preisand, who was ordained by the Hebrew Union College in 1972. Recently retired, Rabbi Preisand served as a congregational rabbi in New Jersey for many years, and has been the pioneer who laid the groundwork for the rest of us. As it turns out, Rabbi Preisand has the distinction of being the first female rabbi ordained in the United States. Read the rest of this entry »