Rabbi Gilah Dror
Rodef Shalom
Rabbi Gilah Dror has served at Rodef Sholom, Newport News, with warmth, enthusiasm, spiritual vision and depth of learning since the summer of 2001, and will be retiring at the end of July of this year.Born in Israel and having grown up in Brooklyn, Rabbi Dror earned a BA in music from Brooklyn College and a law degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She received her ordination as well as her master’s degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1990, and has since left her mark worldwide.
Rabbi Dror previously served as rabbi of Congregation Eshel Avraham in Beer Sheva, Israel for ten years. In 1999, while in Israel, she championed the Conservative Movement by setting up the first alternative cemetery. As the president of the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) of Israel, Rabbi Dror was the first woman to lead a rabbinical organization. Through her work with the Va’ad Halakha [Law Committee] of the Israel RA she has published a number of teshuvot [responsa] on issues ranging from the ordination of women as rabbis to the donation of bodies to medical science. In 2010, Rabbi Dror was published in the “Walking With…” series of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies with an article on “The Israeli National Holidays: Yom Hazikaron, Yom Ha’Atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim.”
Rabbi Dror is Past President of the International Rabbinical Assembly, the first woman to have served as the President of the International RA. She was a member of the RA Strategic Planning Committee and has also been active on many prominent committees, including serving as Vice-Chair of the Joint Placement Committee of the RA of Israel, the Masorti Movement and the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies. Rabbi Dror was also a Vice President of Mercaz USA and a member of the WZO Zionist General Council. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America; on the Board of Directors of the Seminary of Judaic Studies; on the Committee on the Status of Women in the Masorti Movement; and was a founding member of the Menucha Nechona Association in Beer Sheva.
Most of all, Rabbi Dror enjoys teaching and sharing her love of Judaism and of Jewish learning and of Jewish life with people of all ages. She is the proud mother of three children and grandmother of eight – two granddaughters who live in Newport News, VA and six grandchildren who live in Israel.  The Rodef Sholom Men’s Club is proud to name her as our Blue Yarmulke Person of the Year.
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