By Josie Glausiusz
Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation on February 11, 2013, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a picture of the now-Pope Emeritus placing a note in a slot between the stones of the Western Wall.1 When I looked at the image it occurred to me that a Catholic Pope not renowned for his love of the Jews could pray in his priestly garb at the Western Wall, but a Jewish woman could then be arrested at the same site for wearing a tallit, a prayer shawl.
I posted that comment with a picture of...
Though I have never worn a prayer shawl myself, I wanted to support those who did.
By Susan Weiss
WoW April 11 arrests Photo: Marc Israel Sellem
After police threw Anat Hoffman in jail, I joined Women of the Wall (WoW) for monthly services. This decision did not stem from deep religious fervor.
The following is a text version of a speech delivered by Rabbi David Kalb at a Solidarity Minyan (Prayer Service) in Support of Women of the Wall at Town and Village Synagogue on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, Tuesday, March 13 2013. Some minor changes were made from the original.
Shalom and Chodesh Tov (Have A Good Month). I am an Orthodox Rabbi and I believe that every Jew should have the right to pray at the Kotel, the Western Wall in his or her own way. I might not personally agree with the way every individual or community approaches Tefilah, Prayer. I might even disagree on Halachic, Jewish legal grounds. However, the fact that I might disagree, or that anyone else might disagree...
By Chana Tolchin, Barnard College JOFA Fellow
On a college campus, involvement in the arts is hard for anyone. Commitment to a play, a cappella group, or dance troupe is an “all-or nothing” deal; the hours are long and being active in any of these activities requires weekend and late night sacrifices. It’s a lot for any college student to handle, but for religious women on campus, art opportunities pose the issues of modesty on stage (including the restriction of Kol Isha) and scheduling conflicts with Shabbat, as all plays in college...
In a place where there is no woman…
The case for Orthodox female chaplains.
By Chaplain Daniel Coleman
I often wonder what it would take to encourage Orthodox females to become chaplains.
Board-certified chaplains are members of interdisciplinary healthcare teams, providing spiritual care to patients, families, and staff in moments of illness, loss, crisis, transition, and celebration. To become a chaplain, advanced post-high school Jewish education and clinical chaplaincy training are...
By Elana Sztokman
This year on International Women’s Day on March 8, Jewish women have quite a lot to be proud of – but we also have a lot of work left to do.
Jewish women are leaders in politics, law, business, social activism, sports, and science and technology. We are innovators, engineers, writers, thinkers, activists, speakers and fighters. We are at the forefront of important movements in every major area of life, and we are helping to mold and shape culture and society not only in America but around the world.
by Dr. Chaim Trachtman
Rabbi Freundel’s detailed analysis of the halakhic basis for Partnership Minyanim demonstrates an impressive mastery of the relevant texts. But, in assessing this new practice, it is important to examine not only the halakhic responsa but also some of the underlying assumptions about women, men, and the formulation of law within the Orthodox community that are implied in his analysis.
One recurrent theme among those who contend that Partnership Minyanim is not supported by the halakha is that people like me who attend Partnership Minyanim and find them meaningful are ends-driven. That is to say, Partnership Minyanim supporters are thought to act solely on an emotional basis and to use halakha in...
By Bracha Jaffe
Purim and drama have always been passions in my family. This year they intertwined in a totally unexpected and unique way.
Having recently moved to Riverdale, I immediately joined the Shachar partnership Minyan which happily cushioned my arrival in a new neighborhood. After actively participating in a few Tefilot, I casually asked whether they read the Megila on Purim. The answer was:
- “Of course, but we do it a bit differently”
- “Hmm” (I wondered) “what could that be?”
- “Think of the Megila as a play…”
The JOFA Journal has been a phenomenal instrument for creating a world-wide community engagement and connection Orthodox feminists. Now going on its thirty-third issue, the JOFA Journal has covered a broad range of topics, such as women’s leadership, birth rituals, wedding rituals, gender in day schools, women the arts, body issues, women in philanthropy, and more. JOFA Board Member Roselyn Bell, the engine behind the JOFA journal who became editor in 2012, brings to the job a love and a passion for the project, as well as a wealth of editorial experience. As the Spring 2013 issue hits mailboxes – a fascinating issue which covers the vital and often under-reported topic of gender and aging in the Jewish community – Roselyn...