Wilmington synagogue selects first female rabbi in the region

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Rabbi Julie Anne Kozlow. Photo courtesy B'Nai Israel.
Rabbi Julie Anne Kozlow. Photo courtesy B’Nai Israel.

B’Nai Israel’s new leader is making history in the region.

When Rabbi Julie Anne Kozlaw comes to the Port City this summer, it will mark the first time a woman has led a synagogue in southeastern North Carolina.

Kozlow was selected by the congregation of B’Nai Israel after an extensive search process to replace longtime rabbi Robert Waxman, who has announced his retirement.

She currently serves as rabbi of Beth Israel in Greenville, South Carolina. Following in the wake of more widespread acceptance female rabbi ordination over the last several decades, Kozlow was ordained in 2007 at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles, California. She holds a bachelor of arts in Judaic Studies and two master of arts degrees in Rabbinics.

Over the last eight years, Kozlow has served as a pulpit rabbi for congregations in California, New Orleans and Mexico City. She is also an experienced teacher with a real passion for youth education, according to a release from B’Nai, and holds a certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education.

Kozlow will officially take up her pastoral duties at B’Nai Israel on July 1, and the congregation will hold a celebration of her formal installation on Friday, Aug. 21.