CONNECTIONS 2017

Rabbi Julia Margolis

Chairman, South African Centre for Religious Equality and Diversity (SACRED)
Julia Margolis

Rabbi Julia Margolis

Rabbi Julia Margolis is the only female Rabbi in South Africa. She was born in Moscow, USSR. At the age of 12, her family made Aliyah to Israel, where she completed high school and served as an educational officer in the Israeli army (IDF). In 2000, after her release from the IDF, she earned a Bachelor´s Degree from Ben Gurion University in Jewish History, Islam and Art. Rabbi Margolis then went on to complete her Master´s Degree in Jewish Studies. She was raised in a family with deep roots in the Reform Movement – her mother, Rabbi Elena Rubinstein, was the first Russian-speaking female Rabbi in Israel. Rabbi Margolis worked in the Reform Movement in Israel and has represented the Reform Movement all over the world. She has been involved with the Reform Movement in South Africa since 2009. She has been working in different synagogues, as well as performing in life cycle events in different parts of Africa. Rabbi Margolis’ rabbinical thesis focuses on a book of Menachem Finkelstein “Proselytism – Halakhah and Practice.” She was ordained by the Abraham Geiger College in Germany. Rabbi Margolis is the chairman of the South African Centre for Religious Equality and Diversity (SACRED). She is a member of the South African Association of Progressive Rabbis (SAAPR) and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). Rabbi Margolis lives in Johannesburg, she is married to Greg, and is the mother of two wonderful daughters, Emily (8) and Victoria (3).