First female rabbi in Los Angeles area passes away

Carole Meyers dies of bone cancer at age 50 less than three months after being diagnosed.

July 29, 2007 16:56
1 minute read.
First female rabbi in Los Angeles area passes away

rainbow star of david 88. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Rabbi Carole Meyers, who became the first female rabbi to lead a congregation in the Los Angeles area, has died. She was 50. Meyers died of bone cancer Thursday at her home, 10 weeks after being diagnosed with the disease, said her husband, US Magistrate Judge Ralph Zarefsky. Meyers took over the Temple Sinai of Glendale in 1986. The appointment of a 29-year-old single woman as solo rabbi was uncommon at the time. "What was unusual, to my mind, was what an unusual person Carole was," said Rabbi Richard Levy, director of the School of Rabbinic Studies at Hebrew Union College. "Just a very thoughtful, wise person who listened unbelievably well, was just very intelligent." Reform Judaism ordained its first female rabbi in 1972, and the Conservative movement followed in 1985. Orthodox Jews oppose the ordination of women. By 1987 there were 101 female Reform rabbis in the United States. But few of those women led their own congregations. Most worked in social services, on college campuses or as assistant rabbis. Meyers, ordained in 1983 after graduating from Hebrew Union College in New York, was an assistant rabbi in Houston when Temple Sinai selected her. Women in the pulpit are no longer so rare. Rabbi Richard Schechter, who leads Temple Sinai, said at least half of all graduating Reform seminary students today are women. Meyers "was at the forefront of what was to come in Reform Judaism, where women were taking spiritual roles in leadership," he said. Meyers resigned in 2001 to devote more time to her husband and two children. She was born June 12, 1957, in Washington, DC She considered studying to be a rabbi after her father died when she was 13, and felt comforted by the spirituality of the grief rituals at her family's Reform synagogue. She met her husband, then a lawyer, at Temple Sinai. They married in 1990 and had two sons.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery