From the Back Cover
The office of rabbi is the most visible symbol of power and prestige in Jewish communities. Rabbis both interpret to their congregations the requirements of Jewish life and instruct congregants in how best to live this life.
Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation documents a monumental change in Jewish life as eighteen lesbian rabbis reflect on their experiences as trailblazers in Judaism's journey into an increasingly multicultural world. In frank and revealing essays, the contributors discuss their decisions to become rabbis and describe their experiences both at the seminaries and in their rabbinical positions. They also reflect on the dilemma whether to conceal or reveal their sexual identities to their congregants and superiors, or to serve specifically gay and lesbian congregations. The contributors consider the tensions between lesbian identity and Jewish identity, and inquire whether there are particularly "lesbian" readings of traditional texts. These essays also ask how the language of Jewish tradition touches the lives of lesbians and how lesbianism challenges traditional notions of the Jewish family.
About the Author
Rebecca T. Alpert is a rabbi and codirector of the women's studies program at Temple University. She is the author of Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach and Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition. Sue Levi Elwell is a rabbi and director of the Pennsylvania Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. She is the editor of the Jewish Women's Studies Guide. Shirley Idelson is a rabbi who serves as associate chaplain at Carleton College and associate for Jewish Life at Macalester College.