Rabbi, cantor installed at Sherith Israel

Congregation Sherith Israel officially installed Senior Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf and Cantor David Frommer in a Sept. 16 ceremony at the venerable Reform synagogue in San Francisco.

Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf

Some 700 people filled the sanctuary as Rabbis Emeritus Martin Weiner and Lawrence Raphael, along with Cantor Emeritus Martin Feldman, stood on the bimah with Graf, Frommer and Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller.

A native of San Francisco, Graf grew up at Sherith Israel. She becomes the 10th senior rabbi and first woman to hold that post at Sherith Israel, which dates back to the Gold Rush days.

“I am the first senior rabbi [here] to wear a dress for installation,” Graf told congregants, “as far as I know.”

“It was really a treat, not only to have all six of us, but two generations of leadership together,” she said afterward, “talking about new beginnings. It’s a thrill to be installed by my predecessors and my clergy growing up. To be installed on the same bimah I stood on 29 years ago at my bat mitzvah was really exciting for me.”