Liberal Judaism congratulates first Orthodox female rabbi

10 May 2018

Liberal Judaism has sent its congratulations to Dina Brawer, who has become Britain’s first female Orthodox rabbi after attaining her semicha (religious ordination).

She studied at Yeshivat Maharat in New York for four years and received her semicha certificate from Rabbi Dr Sperber (pictured) this week in London. She will take the title of rabba, the feminine form of rabbi.

Although Rabba Brewer will not take up a communal position in an Orthodox synagogue, she is expected to give a series of Shabbat sermons in London this summer and officiate at events including weddings and baby blessings. She is then moving to live in America, along with husband Rabbi Naftali and their family, later this year.

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Liberal Judaism’s director of strategy and partnerships, said: “We wish Rabba Dina Brawer a hearty mazel tov and welcome her as a colleague. This landmark moment for Orthodox Judaism in the UK is a recognition of all her hard work and dedication to the British Jewish community.

“Since its foundation in 1902, Liberal Judaism has always stood for full equality regardless of gender and is proud that around half our clergy and senior leadership are women, having a profound impact on Judaism and wider society.

“Through her achievement, Rabba Brawer will have a huge influence on Orthodox Judaism and beyond – giving a generation of young Jewish girls and women another important role model to look up to. We will miss her in the UK and wish her the best of luck as she moves to America.”

West Central Liberal Synagogue’s Rabbi Dr Jackie Tabick was Britain’s first female rabbi, ordained at Leo Baeck College in 1975 and serving Reform and Liberal Jewish communities since that time.

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