The Forward, in response to the dearth of women on Newsweek’s list of the 50 most influential rabbis in America, last week issued their “Sisterhood 50 — America’s Influential Women Rabbis.” Rabbi Tirzah Firestone of Boulder’s Nevei Kodesh made the list, with this description:
A student of Jewish Renewal movement founder Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Firestone who is also a psychotherapist, is the spiritual leader of Congregation Nevei Kodesh in Boulder, Colo., and the author of “The Woman’s Kabbalah: Ecstatic Jewish Practices for Women.” Firestone is on the board of Rabbis for Human Rights – North America.”
Gabrielle Birkner, Forward web editor and editor of the Sisterhood blog, said about creating the Sisterhood 50 list:
The results (of the Newsweek list) got us thinking about all the female rabbis whose influence cannot necessarily be measured by their national/international profile, their media presence or the size of their constituencies — some of the criteria on which Newsweek bases its rankings — but who, nonetheless, are playing important roles in shaping the Jewish story.
So we decided to select 50 of the most influential women rabbis in America, plus five in Israel, for this inaugural Sisterhood 50 list. These women span generations and the denominational spectrum; they are pulpit rabbis, teachers, academics, pastoral caregivers and organizational leaders. All of them have made it their life’s work to put Jewish values into action — and, as a result, are changing lives in and beyond their communities. This alphabetical list contains a lot of “firsts,” which is evidence of just how much ground there’s been to break in recent years.”
You can see the whole list and read the attendant editorial and comments at The Forward: http://www.forward.com/articles/129451/