Rabbi, Deceased Person
1893 – 1989
Who was Paula Ackerman?
Paula Ackerman was the first woman to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, leading the Beth Israel congregation in Meridian, Mississippi from 1951–53 and the Beth-El congregation in Pensacola, Florida briefly in the 1960s. She led the National Committee on Religious Schools for the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods.
Regarding her chances of being selected for the job, Ackerman wrote to a friend, "I also know how revolutionary the idea is—therefore it seems to be a challenge that I pray I can meet. If I can just plant a seed for the Jewish woman's larger participation—if perhaps it will open a way for women students to train for congregational leadership—then my life would have some meaning."
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