Museum will display rabbi’s memorabilia

The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County will premiere an exhibit featuring a collection of unique and historically significant items of Ocean County resident Sally J. Priesand, the first female rabbi to be ordained in America.

Among the memorabilia on display will be letters and photographs, newspaper clippings, paintings, mementos, gifts and other special possessions gathered during her 37 years in the rabbinate.

“A Few of My Favorite Things: The Historical Memorabilia of Rabbi Sally J. Priesand, America’s First Female Rabbi” will open with an invitational evening reception on Feb. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. Giving levels start at $54 and include two tickets to the reception. The exhibit will remain on display through March 16 during regular museum hours.

In conjunction with the exhibit, Priesand will offer an hour-long presentation titled “Reflections on My Life as a Rabbi” on Feb. 21 at 2 p.m., which will be open to the public. Fees for this event are $10 for museum members and $18 for nonmembers.

According to a press release, all proceeds from the exhibit and related events will benefit the development and installation of the museum’s timeline, an innovative permanent exhibit that will trace the history of the Jewish population of Monmouth County.

The timeline will use traditional museum display methods alongside cutting-edge interactive techniques. In addition, friends of Priesand have established a matching grant of $10,000, which will double the funds raised to support the timeline.

Priesand was ordained in 1972 and served three synagogues over the course of her career. She led the congregation of Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls for 25 years before her retirement in 2006, when she became Rabbi Emerita.

She is currently active on the Board ofDirectors of the Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County, chairs the Clergy Advisory Committee of Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey, serves on the board of the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Center at Brookdale Community College, is president of Interfaith Neighbors, and is editor of the Central Conference of American Rabbis newsletter.

The museum is at 310 Mounts Corner Drive, Freehold Township, in the Mount’s Corner shopping center at the intersection of Wemrock Road and Route 537. For more information, contact the museum at 732-252- 6990 or visit