By Brad Segall

ELKINS PARK, Pa. (CBS) – A historic Montgomery County synagogue is breaking ground with its new rabbi — the first female rabbi in its 156-year history.

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Rabbi Rachel Kobrin comes to Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park by way of a synagogue in Austin, Texas. She was hired after an international search and says she was drawn to this area by the people she met when she came here to visit.

Rabbi Kobrin says she’s looking forward to creating a dynamic engaged community within the Congregation:

“I bring a desire to listen to people. I bring a desire to help vision with people and, you know, also a desire to incorporate song, to incorporate meaningful Jewish learning.”

She’s the first female in the Philadelphia region to lead such a large congregation.

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Adath Jeshurun has 560 families. Rabbi Kobrin says she’s aware of the thousands of unaffiliated Jews in the area and looks forward to giving them a reason to join:

“When we touch people’s lives, when we actually care and when we create something which people are interested in and, you know, feeds their souls that we end up allowing many more people to feel that they have a connection.”

She succeeds Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom who presided over the pulpit for nearly four decades.


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