This post first appeared as “Trailblazing Woman Joins Orthodox Montreal Shul” on The Sisterhood blog at the Forward.
Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, Montreal’s largest and oldest Ashkenazi synagogue, has become the first Canadian congregation to hire a graduate of Yeshivat Maharat, the Bronx yeshiva that ordains women.
Rachel Kohl Finegold, 32, is one of three graduates of the yeshiva’s inaugural class. She will be moving with her family from Chicago to Montreal, where she will begin serving as Shaar Hashomayim’s director of education and spiritual enrichment on August 1. In Chicago, she has been the education and ritual director of the Orthodox Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation for the past six years.
Although graduates of Yeshivat Maharat may assume the honorific of “Rabba,” Finegold has chosen to be known as “Maharat,” which is a Hebrew acronym for “manhigah hilchatit ruchanit Toranit,” a teacher or leader of Jewish law and spirituality.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.