CONNECTIONS 2017

Rabbi Miri Gold

Rabbi, Kehilat Birkat Shalom
Miri Gold

Rabbi Miri Gold

Rabbi Miri Gold was born in Detroit, Michigan, with family roots in Belarus. She graduated from the University of Michigan cum laude in 1971 with a degree in Philosophy. She made Aliyah to Kibbutz Gezer, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, in 1977. In 1980 she and her husband went to the Former Soviet Union (FSU) to solidify contacts with refuseniks because of their belief in Jewish Peoplehood.
In March 1999, she became the third Reform woman rabbi to be ordained in Israel through the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), Jerusalem campus. She has served Kehilat Birkat Shalom since its founding in 1997. Miri petitioned the Israel Supreme Court in 2005, demanding recognition as the rabbi of Gezer. In 2012, Israel’s Attorney General decided that rabbis of non-Orthodox rural communities are entitled to salaries, setting a historic precedent. Rabbi Gold is the first non-Orthodox rabbi to be recognized by the State of Israel. Rabbi Gold is a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Women’s Rabbinic Network (WRN), MARAM (the Council of Reform and Progressive Rabbis in Israel) and Rabbis for Human Rights. Miri was named by The Forward newspaper as one of the five influential women rabbis in Israel in October 2010. Miri is featured in Voices in the Wilderness: Emerging Roles of Israeli Clergywomen, a book published in 2015. In May 2016, Miri became part of the first cohort of 25 out of 165 women rabbis featured in the Story Archive of Women Rabbis collection in the Jewish Women’s Archive. Miri, the “Rav Cookie” and David Leichman, artisan ice cream maker, have three children.