Twenty-three years after the Conservative Jewish movement began ordaining female rabbis, a woman has been tapped to lead its Rabbinical Assembly. Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, 43, will become executive vice president of the 1,600-member global body in July, succeeding Rabbi Joel Meyers, who will retire after 20 years in the position. With the appointment, the Conservative branch, which has 4.3 million members, becomes the first of the three major streams of Judaism to name a woman to lead the day-to-day operations of a rabbinical association.


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