by the Forward

Rabbi Amy R. Perlin

Temple B’nai Shalom | Fairfax Station, Virginia | 56 years old
Reform | Hebrew Union College

“I am a lesbian mom, and finding a place to raise my children that would accept ALL types of families was not easy. After being told by other congregations that yes, we could join, but two moms would not be welcome on the bimah for a bar or bat mitzvah — and hearing other comments that made our family feel marginalized — I met my rabbi and found my Jewish home. Rabbi Perlin is a fierce advocate for LGBT equality and our synagogue is a caring community for ALL people. She helped me through the untimely death of my mother, a divorce, a difficult pregnancy and countless other life events. Her compassion, unconditional love and wisdom have made me a better person and a better Jew, and allow me to connect with God and my community as an equal and respected member of our congregation.”

—CINDY KOCH (also nominated by four others)

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