Let Her Speak for Herself: Nineteenth-Century Women Writing on the Women of Genesis

By Marion Ann Taylor; Heather E. Weir | Go to book overview

§16 Ray Frank
(1861–1948)

Ray Frank was born in San Francisco, to Leah and Bernard Frank. Ray Frank completed high school and taught school in Nevada for six years. She moved back to Oakland to help her family and supported herself through teaching and writing. She taught Sabbath school classes and became the superintendent of the religious school of the First Hebrew Congregation in Oakland. In 1890, she traveled to Spokane, Washington, and preached to 1,000 Jews of the community at the Opera house several times, encouraging them to drop their religious differences and form a permanent congregation. She continued to work as a journalist and preach and lecture throughout western and northwestern United States. Local newspapers called her a "latter-day Deborah," and even "Lady Rabbi." She studied at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in the spring of 1893, but declined to serve as a spiritual leader of a congregation. She delivered the opening prayer at the first Jewish Women's Congress, held in Chicago in conjunction with the World Parliament of Religions in 1893. In 1901 she gave up her career as a journalist and preacher and she married Simon Litman, a professor of economics, first at the University of California and later at the University of Illinois. In Illinois, Frank was involved in Jewish student life and active in the larger Jewish community.

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