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Board of Rabbis gets its first female president; she’s also its first gay leader

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 7, 2009 | 6:19 pm

Next week the Southern California Board of Rabbis will install Rabbi Denise Eger as its president. Eger, the leader of Congregation Kol Ami, will be both the first woman and the first gay rabbi to lead the umbrella organization for greater-L.A. synagogues.

Here’s a bit of the story from Julie Gruenbaum Fax:

Only about 20 Orthodox rabbis are currently active in the Board of Rabbis, and those who are involved, Diamond notes, are committed to the interdenominational vision of the organization and respect all their colleagues. In fact, the chair of this year’s nominating committee was Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, a past president of the board who leads the Modern Orthodox B’nai David-Judea.

Eger sees her election, which took place in March, as an affirmation of the bridges she has worked to build over the years.

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She says that growing up in Memphis, where Jews of all denominations knew each other and interacted, embedded within her a sense of klal Yisrael, the oneness of the people of Israel.

“I still believe that it’s true today, no matter where you daven or don’t, that as Jews we have more in common with one another than we have differences,” Eger said.

“We owe it to ourselves to know one another and to talk to one another and to respect each other, even in our differences.”

Read the rest here.

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