I’m a “Woman Rabbi”: Bringing Our Full Selves to Jewish Community

Rabbi Nikki DeBlosi (she/her)
14 min readFeb 7, 2022
A couple holds items for the ritual end of the Sabbath as Rabbi Nikki, a white woman in glasses and bright clothing, extinguishes the braided candle in wine.
Rabbi Nikki performing the ritual of havdalah at a ketubah (marriage contract) signing.

Sermon for Shabbat Terumah, February 2022, at Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City

“Excuse me, miss,can you tell me where the rabbi is?”

I take a beat before responding. I decide on a chuckle and a quick, “You’re looking at her!”

“Isn’t that skirt a little short for a rabbi?”

Baffled, I glance down at the dress that falls well below my knees.

“If my rabbi had looked like that, I would have gone to shul (that’s Yiddish for “synagogue”) more often!”

… That one required real self-control on my part.

And perhaps my favorite: Being introduced to my Orthodox Senior Rabbi’s three-year-old son. “This is Rabbi Nikki.” The child lifts his eyes to me shyly, taking in the kippa (or yarmulke) I was wearing along with my traditionally “feminine” clothing.

“But… but… rabbis don’t wear earrings!”…

Type “rabbi” into Google’s image search and dozens of bearded faces will soon stare out at you from the screen. You’ll scroll twice before you see a woman. Overwhelmingly, these rabbis will be white, Orthodox, Ashkenazi (of Eastern European descent).



Rabbi Nikki DeBlosi (she/her)

queer belonging. sex positivity. creative ritual. inclusive judaism.