The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW Greater Philadelphia Section), at its May 14 luncheon and meeting, presented a program featuring a panel of three women rabbis who discussed their family backgrounds growing up and the journeys that eventually led them to the rabbinate.
Taking part in the discussion were Conservative Rabbi Andrea Merow, Beth Shalom Congregation, Elkins Park; Reform Rabbi Shoshana Tornberg, Temple Beth Am, Abington; and Pluralist Rabbi Lynda Targan, Philadelphia. Diane Steinbrink, NCJW board member, served as moderator.
The rabbis noted that today half the class at Hebrew Union College is women, but only a small percentage of women graduates are pulpit rabbis. They choose other areas of rabbinic roles in which to serve their Jewish communities.
There are 1,000 women rabbis in the U.S. today. The rabbis agreed that any cultural changes can take a long time to be accepted, but they said change will happen and there will no longer be the designation “women rabbis.”