Rabbi Ann Blitzstein Folb, of Arlington, died Aug. 19 from heart and kidney failure. She was 77. Ann was born on Jan. 24, 1945, in Chicago to Leland and Ellinore Blitzstein. In 1963, Ann enrolled in the joint undergraduate program that the Hebrew Union College had with the University of Cincinnati. She was not deterred by the letter from the university that said, “Women were welcome to study at the Hebrew Union College but so far none had completed the course and they did not know what the future for women in the rabbinate would be. So far they had chosen careers in Jewish education.”
While at college, she met another rabbinical student, Howard Folb, whom she married on Jan. 2, 1966, in Chicago. Ann decided that two rabbis in one family would be difficult and she pursued a master’s degree in social work.
When Howard died in 1998, she decided to continue her pursuit to become a rabbi. She returned to Hebrew Union College and was ordained in 2007. She served as a rabbi at a Progressive congregation in Pretoria, South Africa. She later moved to Arlington to be close to her son. She was part of the teaching faculty at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria.
Rabbi Ann Folb is survived by her daughter, Leah Folb Marcel; her son, Joshua Folb; her son-in-law, Dimitri Marcel; her daughter-in-law, Belinda Folb; her granddaughter, Kira Marcel; and her grandson, Michael Folb.
Ann was predeceased by her sister, Mariylyn Hronatko, and her husband, Rabbi Howard Folb.
Donations can be made to Shapiro RS Scholarship Fund (bethelhebrew.org/payment.php).