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Rabbi LAURA GELLER, Los Angeles
Rabbi Laura Geller is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills, California. She is the first woman to be selected to lead a major metropolitan synagogue. Rabbi Geller graduated from Brown University in 1971 and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College in 1976. She was the third woman in the Reform Movement to become a rabbi. Rabbi Geller has taught at the University of Judaism, the University of Southern California, the Wexner Fellows Program, and the Wexner Heritage Foundation. Rabbi Geller was a Trustee on the Board of Brown University from 2001-2007 and the Board of Governors of the Hebrew Union College from 2001-2008. She was the founding Chair of the Beverly Hills Human Relations Commission. Rabbi Laura Geller has received many honors, and recently she was named by the Forward newspaper as one of the "Forward 50" Individuals who "are doing and saying things that are making a difference in the way American Jews view the world and themselves".

Rabbi JUDITH HAUPTMAN, New York
Rabbi Judith Hauptman grew up in Brooklyn, NY, attended a Conservative synagogue, became Orthodox in her teen years at the Yeshivah of Flatbush, but returned to Conservative Judaism in college. She is the first woman ever to receive a PhD in Talmud. Since 1974, Judith Hauptman has been teaching Talmud at JTS, The Jewish Theological Seminary for Conservative Judaism. She serves as the E. Billi Ivry Professor of Talmud and Rabbinic Culture. In 2003, she followed in her students’ footsteps and was herself ordained as a rabbi at the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York. Shortly after her ordination, she founded Ohel Ayalah (Helen's Tent), which provides walk-in High Holiday Services.

Rabbi ELISA KLAPHECK, Frankfurt
Rabbi Elisa Klapheck is the rabbi of the Egalitarian Minyan in Frankfurt am Main. She is one of very few rabbis serving today in Germany. Before becoming a rabbi, Elisa Klapheck worked as a journalist. Elisa Klapheck wrote a book on the world’s first woman rabbi ever, Regina Jonas (born in Berlin 1902 , murdered in Auschwitz in 1944). After years of study with well known mentors, Elisa Klapheck was ordained as rabbi by the ALEPH Rabbinical Program in Colorado in 2004. Rabbi Klapheck also was rabbi at Beit Ha-Chidush (House of Renewal), an egalitarian Jewish Congregation in Amsterdam, and in 2009 Rabbi Klapheck was officially installed as rabbi of the Egalitarian Minyan in Frankfurt am Main.

Rabbi CHAVA KOSTER, New York
Rabbi Chava Koster is the first woman from the Netherlands to be ordained a rabbi. In 1999, Rabbi Chava Koster became the rabbi of the Village Temple, a congregation in New York City. Before joining the Village Temple as rabbi, she was Associate Rabbi at Temple B'nai Abraham in Livingston, New Jersey. Rabbi Koster studied at the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York and was ordained as rabbi in 1997. In 1993, she was awarded a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies and Jewish Education from JTS, The Jewish Theological Seminary for Conservative Judaism.

Rabbi Laura Geller

  © 2010 River Lights Pictures © All images by Hannah Heer.