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First Woman Rabbis in Israel, US Navy

The first woman rabbi in Israel—Kinneret Shirion—is performing congregational duties for the Reform movement’s Community Synagogue in Ramat Aviv, a Tel Aviv suburb, but without recognition from the Orthodox rabbinical establishment, which does not recognize any non-Orthodox movement or its rabbis.

The Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism said that Shirion, 30, was ordained by the New York branch of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institution of Religion in 1981 and served as a pulpit rabbi in Adelaide, Australia and in Wilton, CT before coming to Israel in 1983. Shirion is married to an Israeli scriptwriter. The couple has a two-year-old daughter.

A rabbinical candidate at the (Reform) Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati will become the first Jewish woman chaplain in the United States Navy after her ordination in the summer of 1986. Julie Schwartz and her husband, Steve Ballaban, also a fourth year student at HUC, will be the first wife-and-husband rabbinic team in the Armed Forces, and have been sworn in as members of the U.S. Navy’s Theological Student Program for chaplaincy candidates.