Inicio NOTICIAS Rabbi Lila Kagedan set to make history with job at Orthodox shul

Rabbi Lila Kagedan set to make history with job at Orthodox shul

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Recent graduate of New York seminary to become first woman to lead an Orthodox synagogue and use the title rabbi

 When Rabbi Lila Kagedan spends her first Shabbat at the Mount Freedom Jewish Center in Randolph, New Jersey, later this month, she will be making history.

A recent graduate of Yeshivat Maharat, Kagedan, 35, is the first person ordained at the Orthodox women’s clergy training institute in New York to adopt the title of rabbi and land a job at an Orthodox synagogue. In her new position, Kagedan will be part of the synagogue’s spiritual leadership, teaching and doing youth outreach.

“There are so many other women who have come before me who are doing this work already, including graduates of Yeshivat Maharat already working in pulpit positions,” Kagedan told JTA. “I feel that I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. I learn from them and they inspire me. It’s because of the variety of Jewish learning opportunities that already have been made for women that I have this opportunity.”

Rather than confer a particular title upon graduates, Yeshivat Maharat leaves it up to the ordainees. Some of the yeshiva’s dozen or so graduates go by “maharat,” an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning a leader in Jewish law, spirituality and Torah. Others, including dean Sara Hurwitz, go by “rabba,” a feminized version of rabbi. Alissa Thomas-Newborn, a clergywoman at the Los Angeles synagogue B’nai David-Judea, goes by “morateinu,” Hebrew for our teacher.

“I’m by nature a very traditional person,” Kagedan told JTA. “I really didn’t want to look outside our tradition for new titles. I have rabbis and mentors in my life who I really look up to and have learned so much from, and I always appreciated that their title told me exactly who they were and what their training was.”

Many Orthodox Jews are vehemently opposed to the idea of women rabbis, and several mainstream Orthodox rabbis and institutions have ruled that ordaining female rabbis violates Jewish law.

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