Holy Sparks: Cel­e­brat­ing 50 Years of Women in the Rabbinate

The below read­ing list is a com­pan­ion to the Holy Sparks: Cel­e­brat­ing Fifty Years of Women in the Rab­binate ini­tia­tive pre­sent­ed by HUC and The Braid. Jew­ish Book Coun­cil is proud to be a part of the cel­e­bra­tion consortium.

On June 3, 1972, Jew­ish and Amer­i­can his­to­ry was made when Rab­bi Sal­ly Priesand was ordained by Hebrew Union Col­lege-Jew­ish Insti­tute of Reli­gion as the first woman rab­bi in Amer­i­ca. A pio­neer who opened the way for gen­er­a­tions across all denom­i­na­tions and around the globe, Rab­bi Priesand set in motion the first steps toward inclu­sion, diver­si­ty, equi­ty, and empow­er­ment of new cohorts of lead­ers for the Jew­ish peo­ple over the past 50 years.

The Holy Sparks art exhi­bi­tion illu­mi­nates the cre­ativ­i­ty, com­mit­ment, and vision of 24 women who were firsts” in their time. Their chal­lenges and con­tri­bu­tions, strug­gles and suc­cess­es, rep­re­sent the achieve­ments of all the 839 women rab­bini­cal grad­u­ates of HUC-JIR in North Amer­i­ca and Israel to date – and the near­ly 1,500 women rab­bis of all move­ments who have trans­formed Jew­ish tra­di­tion, wor­ship, spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, schol­ar­ship, edu­ca­tion, and pas­toral care. 

Evok­ing their sto­ries are the works of 24 lead­ing con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish women artists, who immersed them­selves in their respec­tive rabbi’s record­ed inter­views, pro­duced by The Braids Sto­ry Archive of Women Rab­bis and pre­served at the Jew­ish Women’s Archive. The artists’ insights, empa­thy, and broad array of aes­thet­ic approach­es cap­ture the essence of these trail­blaz­ers’ iden­ti­ties and con­se­crat­ed paths. 

To view the exhi­bi­tion cat­a­logue, please click here. To read the press release, and to find exhi­bi­tion dates and details, please click hereTo arrange for in-per­son or vir­tu­al tours, attend events, and or bring the exhi­bi­tion to your com­mu­ni­ty, please email holysparks@​huc.​edu.