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Sally Priesand's Geni Profile

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Sally Priesand

Birthplace: Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Irv Priesand and Rosetta Priesand
Sister of <private> Priesand; <private> Priesand and <private> Kornitsky

Occupation: Rabbi (first ordained woman rabbi - reformed)
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Sally Priesand

Sally Jane Preisand Sally Jane Priesand (born June 27, 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio) is America's first ordained female rabbi. Rabbi Priesand was ordained in June, 1972, by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was the spiritual leader of Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, NJ until her retirement in June, 2006. She is now the rabbi emerita of the same synagogue.

During her rabbinate, Monmouth Reform Temple launched a nationally recognized anti-gun campaign, a local job bank, a lending library of judaica and related resources for the general public, hosted an annual Monmouth County arts festival, helped build homes with Habitat for Humanity, and instituted an annual "Mitzvah Day" of charitable volenteerism.

Rabbi Priesand has leadership roles in the Jewish Federation of Greater Monmouth County, Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey, the Center for Holocaust Studies at Brookdale Community College and she is president of the board of directors for Interfaith Neighbors Inc..


Priesand is the author of Judaism and the New Woman, and a contributor to Women Rabbis: Exploration and Celebration, and to A Treasury of Favorite Sermons by Leading American Rabbis. She is featured in numerous books including Rabbis: The Many Faces of Judaism and Fifty Jewish Women who Changed the World. Source

Awards and honors

In 1973, Priesand was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Florida International University.

In 1997, she received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR).[11] In the same year, the Rabbi Sally J. Priesand Visiting Professorship in Jewish Women's Studies was established in her honor at HUC-JIR.

On April 23, 2009, she received the prestigious Elizabeth Blackwell Award given by Hobart and William Smith Colleges in (Geneva, New York) to women whose life exemplify outstanding service to humanity. The award is named after Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910), the first woman in America to receive the Doctor of Medicine degree.

In 2010, in honor of its 125th anniversary, Good Housekeeping magazine named her one of “125 women who changed our world”. Source


  • Priesand, Sally (1975). Judaism and the New Woman. Behrman House. ISBN 0-87441-230-7.
  • Priesand, Sally (1996). "Postscript". In Zola, Gary Phillip. Women Rabbis: Exploration & Celebration: Papers Delivered at an Academic Conference Honoring Twenty Years of Women in the Rabbinate, 1972-1992. Hebrew Union College Press. pp. 117–123. ISBN 0-87820-214-5.
  • Greenberg, Sidney, ed. (1999). A treasury of favorite sermons by leading American rabbis. Jason Aronson. ISBN 978-0765760616.
  • Diner, Hasia; Benderly Lieff, Beryl (2002). Her Works Praise Her: A History Of Jewish Women In America From Colonial Times To The Present. Basic Books. pp. 409–414. ISBN 978-0465017119.
  • Nadell, Pamela Susan (1998). Women Who Would be Rabbis. Beacon Press. pp. 148–169. ISBN 0-8070-3648-X. Source

After two recent battles with breast and Thyroid cancer, Rabbi Priesand chose to retire in 2006.

In addition, Rabbi Rabbi Priesand, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, is single and currently resides in Eatontown, New Jersey. Her hobbies include playing with her Boston terrier, Shadow, and dabbling in abstract watercolor. She exhibits annually in the Monmouth Festival of the Arts and in the spring of 2002, in honor of the thirtieth anniversary of her ordination, she had her first solo exhibition in the Backman Gallery at HUC-JIR in New York.

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Sally Priesand's Timeline

June 27, 1946
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States