SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — A spiritual trailblazer will be leading Friday night Sabbath services at Mount Zion Temple in Sioux Falls. Cathy Nemiroff is believed to be South Dakota’s first-ever female rabbi.

Mount Zion Temple is making history ahead of High Holy Days, a major holiday in the Jewish Faith.

“It’s an awesome time of year,” Rabbi Cathy Nemiroff said.

It’s an all the more special time of year because Mount Zion is now being led by a rabbi who’s a woman. The temple put out a nationwide call for a rabbi back in the spring and Cathy Nemiroff answered that call.

“I have never been the first female rabbi anyplace, so I think it’s an honor and it’s a privilege and it’s something that I want to live up to,” Nemiroff said.

Nemiroff also works as a chaplain at a senior care facility in St. Paul. She’ll fly to Sioux Falls once a month to perform her rabbinical duties here.

“My priorities are leading services, adult education, helping with children’s education and being available to congregants in whatever way I can be of help,” Nemiroff said.

Rabbi Nemiroff had never been to South Dakota before. Her first visit to Sioux Falls was in July for her job interview.

“It was a prairie way out there, as far as I knew. And I didn’t know that there was so much culture out here,” Nemiroff said.

Mount Zion members say making a non-traditional hire of a woman as rabbi will benefit the entire congregation.

“It’s a reflection of our community. Our pews are made up of a lot of women and for us to be able to see ourselves up on the bima leading us in prayer, it’s spiritually gratifying,” Congregational President Jen Dreiske said.

Nemiroff says she’s looking forward to serving the spiritual needs of Mount Zion members as their history-making rabbi.

“I think it’s a wonderful place. People are quite welcoming and quite warm,” Nemiroff said.

Nemiroff is a native of New York and was ordained 20 years ago.

She started her duties in Sioux Falls last month.