In the last three decades, hundreds of women have chosen to become rabbis. This growth parallels and follows the demand for change in women's roles in public ritual life and family laws and is due to the profound impact of feminism, especially in North America. In English-speaking countries, women call themselves rabbis, but in countries such as Germany, the woman rabbi is referred to as rabbina and in Israel often as rabba. The Orthodox ABR (all but rabbis in name) refer to themselves as maharat, a newly coined term. Women rabbis’ contribution has broadened the concept of Judaism and the image of women in general by providing female models of leadership.

In 1890, Ray Frank, the “Girl Rabbi of the Golden West,” who ...

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