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1st U.S. female rabbi will speak at JCC

Event is sponsored by Elly and Murray Miller of Kingston Township.


Rabbi Sally J. Priesand will bring the story of her journey from young Jewish woman to America’s first female rabbi to the area Sunday at the Jewish Community Center of Wyoming Valley.

It is estimated that, after Priesand’s monumental achievement in the Reform Jewish community, 1,000 women rabbis have followed in her footsteps.

The event is sponsored by Elly and Murray Miller of Kingston Township. Elly Miller had first met Priesand at a bas mitzvah of a young woman who, at the advice of Priesand, became a cantor, one of the first steps in becoming a rabbi.

“I was a teacher all my life and never met a female rabbi,” said Elly Miller. “My husband and I went (to the bas mitzvah), and after the ceremony waited in the lobby and told the woman rabbi how much I was happy to meet her. She wanted to be invited to our community.”

According to a JCC press release, Priesand earned her status as a pioneer on June 3, 1972, when she was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Elly Miller knows that, without the efforts and the kindness of the local Jewish community and the area community, events such as might not occur.

“I just wanted to thank Rick Evans and Barbara Sugarman, who had the most to do with making this happen,” she said.

If you go

Rabbi Priesand will share her rabbinic journey at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the JCC of Wyoming Valley. Everyone is invited to attend. There will be no admission fee. For additional information, contact Barbara Sugarman at 824-4646.

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