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B’nai Sholom to Host Kinneret Shiryon, First Female Congregational Rabbi to Serve in Israel and Capital Region Native

Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon, the first woman to function as a rabbi in the history of the state of Israel, will discuss her life’s work and her journey in a question-and-answer hosted via Zoom by B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, at 10 a.m.

The program, “A Journey of Liberal Judaism: From the Capital Region to the Land of the Maccabees,” is free and open to the public.

Registration for the Jan. 10 program is required to receive the Zoom link.  Contact the B’nai Sholom office to register or for more information: office@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us or 518-482-5283.

The first female congregational rabbi to serve in Israel, Rabbi Shiryon established Kehillat YOZMA, the first non-Orthodox congregation to receive funding from the state.  Born Sandra Levine, she spent nine years of her childhood in Schenectady.  She was the founding rabbi and spiritual leader of Kehillat YOZMA, Modi’in’s Reform congregation that she established and oversaw from 1997 to 2017; she continues to serve as rabbi emerita.  Kehillat YOZMA is known for its social justice partnerships and  boasts the first Reform day school to receive state funding from the Israeli government.

Rabbi Shiryon was the first woman to chair the Council of Progressive Rabbis in Israel and continues to be an outspoken advocate for Reform Judaism in Israel.  In 2013, Rabbi Shiryon received the Cohon Memorial Foundation Rescue Award for her work in promoting Jewish life in Israel and helping Israeli secular Jews define their religious Jewish identity while working in the community to support marginal population groups.

Rabbi Shiryon was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1981 with Rabbi David Katz, currently B’nai Sholom’s interim rabbi.  She made aliyah to Israel in 1983.

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