Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell


Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell has been teaching and writing about Jewish women's history and feminist spirituality for the past twenty years. The founding director of the American Jewish Congress Feminist Center in Los Angeles, Elwell served as the first rabbinic Director of Ma'yan, the Jewish Women's Project of the Jewish Community Center on the Upper West Side in New York City. She has served congregations in California, New Jersey and Virginia, and worked as rabbi and chaplain of Beit T'Shuvah, a residential program for Jewish felons and other recovering addicts. She has worked with congregations across the country to assist them in developing strategies to welcome and integrate GLBT congregants and their families into synagogue life. Elwell has officiated at many gay and lesbian weddings and baby naming ceremonies, and appeared in the Oscar-nominated documentary Chicks in White Satin.  She currently serves as the Director of the Pennsylvania Council and the Federation of Reform Synagogues of Greater Philadelphia of the Union for Reform Judaism.

Elwell is the editor of The Open Door, the new CCAR Haggadah (2002), and served as one of the editors of the acclaimed The Journey Continues: The Ma'yan Haggadah (1997). Elwell served as editor, with Rebecca Alpert and Shirley Idelson, of Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation (Rutgers University Press, 2001) and authored The Jewish Women's Studies Guide (1987). She serves as co-chair of the Bi-National Advisory Board of FaithTrust Institute. Elwell, who earned her doctorate at Indiana University and was ordained by Hebrew Union College, is the mother of two adult daughters. She and her partner Nurit Levi Shein live in Philadelphia.

(This biographical statement provided by Sue Levi Elwell.)

Biography Date: June, 2005


Jewish (Reform) | Feminism | Women and Religion


“Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed May 22, 2024, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/sue-levi-elwell.


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