This Day in Jewish History / America gets first (unofficial) female rabbi
The establishment frowned but Paula Ackerman bowed to popular demand and led the congregations, not once, but twice.
On December 12, 1950, Paula Ackerman, the widow of Rabbi William Ackerman, became the first female rabbi in America, not that she was recognized or ordained as such. She simply acceded to the request of her late husband’s congregation, Temple Beth Israel, in Meridian, Mississippi, and began serving as the synagogue’s spiritual leader.
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