Saturday, December 18, 2004

A New York Times piece about Nelly Shulman, 31, "the first and so far the only Russian-born woman to be a rabbi in the former Soviet Union."

Here's my favorite part, at the very end:

And on a recent Saturday, she led a service for deaf children, letting each child grasp the traditional shofar, or ram's horn, as she blew. "They hear the shofar by touching it with their hands," she said. "Isn't that amazing?"

And this:

To an extent that surprises even her, she is a trailblazer. "My replacement rabbi for Belarus went back to one of the kindergartens where I worked and introduced himself as the new rabbi," she recalled. "The children who'd grown up with me replied, 'But you can't be. All rabbis are women!'"

And this:

At a bar mitzvah in a village in Belarus, one elderly Jew told her he had not been to such a celebration since 1916, the year before the revolution.

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