100 Women We Love: Rabbi Denise Eger

We are thrilled to present the 2013 list of 100 Women We Love – Including…

This year marks Denise Eger’s silver anniversary in the Rabbinate—and her appointment as President-Elect of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), which serves more than 2,300 Reform Rabbis in North America; she’s the first out lesbian to serve in this role. Born in Memphis, Eger moved to the Golden State to study religion at USC and became a leading activist in the West Hollywood scene. In 1992, she founded congregation Kol Ami, a synagogue serving gay Jews and their allies in her adopted home of WeHo. Eger was also the first to officiate a lesbian wedding for that precious window of time in 2008 when same-sex marriage was legal in California. Eger sat on the board of Equality for All/No on Prop 8 and was a founder of the California Faith for Equality, organizing Jews in the marriage equality movement. “I hope that the LGBT community will remember that we have the power to change the religious and spiritual world with our love and communal strength and fight the forces that try to condemn us,” she tells GO. Eger continues to blog and tweet words of love, kindness and acceptance as she embarks on her next quarter century in the Rabbinate. -JF

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