Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah: Troublemaking Judaism

Brighton Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah, along with Sheila Shulman, was the first openly lesbian rabbi in the UK. Elli tells us about identity ‘outside the binary’, being a radical feminist, equal marriage, and her mission to make the Jewish community truly inclusive.

‘I was what classically used to be called a ‘tomboy’, but I had a very definite sense of myself as kind of choosing a male identity ;when I was little I supposed in those days, I was born in 1955, the options were very binary in terms of gender. So I called myself John and I called my little sister Julia ‘Jimmy’. I loved it when people thought I was a boy. I would only wear button-fly jeans.

‘Overall, my determination and my belief in people’s capacity to respond to change, once they had the opportunity to be really made aware of the issue, and to know me, has been vindicated.(..)Brighton Progressive has become inclusive…It has worked.’

Read on: Transcript Summary Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah

Portrait pic courtesy of Matthew Andrews. All rights reserved.

Thank you Suzanne Paginton.



"Rainbow Jews provides an important source of Jewish history. I urge people to get involved and support this project in whichever way they can"
Danny Rich

Rabbi Danny Rich
Liberal Judaism CEO
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Peter Tatchell

Peter Tatchell
Human Rights Defender

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