Thirty-four years after becoming the first woman ordained as a rabbi in the U.S., Rabbi Sally Priesand is retiring (NYT link, can also be found here).

Though she wasn’t trying to make a political statement, Priesand started quite a trend:

Just 34 years later, 829 women have become rabbis among the three denominations – Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative – that accept women into the rabbinate. Across all three movements, women are being ordained in record numbers, a trend that is likely to further revolutionize the pulpit.

[Of course, it bears mentioning that Priesand is always called “the first woman ordained as a rabbi in the U.S.,” since Paula Ackerman (1893-1989) was the first woman un-ordained rabbi in the United States, and Regina Jonas (1902-1944) of Berlin, Germany received semichah and was ordained as a rabbi in 1935.]