Denise Eger, the first openly gay woman rabbi in the world, and now the officiant at Kol Ami in West Hollywood, took part in Story Archive of Women Rabbis, an extensive collection of very personal narratives, housed online at the Jewish Women’s Archive in Brookline, Massachusetts and available free online at www.jwa.com.
For the past seven years, a handful of women who work with Jewish Women’s Theatre (JWT) in Santa Monica, have been collecting personal stories from over 175 women rabbis across the globe in order to discover, preserve and communicate the transformative changes in Jewish life that have taken place since the first American woman rabbi was ordained in 1972.
These video interviews are now the Story Archive of Women Rabbis, an extensive collection of very personal narratives, housed online at the Jewish Women’s Archive in Brookline, Massachusetts and available free online at www.jwa.com. The official launch of this project is October 2016.
As a pre-event to the launch, local audiences will be able to see talented actors make the stories of 18 prominent L.A. rabbis come alive as their stories are performed by professional actors in Stories From The Fringe: Women Rabbis, Revealed!. There are several performances in September at The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave. #102, Santa Monica.
“Only in the last 44 years have Jewish women been allowed to be full participants in Judaism,” explains Ronda Spinak, JWT’s artistic director and the driving force behind the Story Archive project. “It wasn’t long ago that girls could not be bat mitzvaed, counted in a minyan (quorums of ten adults required for certain religious ceremonies), or even participate in rituals that honored their own family members.”
“Someone needed to gather the stories of the pioneers who changed all that, so the voices of trailblazing women rabbis could be preserved forever,” Lynne Himelstein, Co-Director of the Story Archive adds. “We accepted that responsibility and know everyone who hears them will be enriched and affected. They certainly changed me.”