Thu, 04/03/2014 - 4:05pm -- JOFA

By Robyn Shames, Executive Director ICAR 

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Thu, 04/03/2014 - 4:05pm -- JOFA

By Elana Sztokman

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Thu, 04/03/2014 - 4:05pm -- JOFA

by Mona Berdugo   

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Thu, 04/03/2014 - 4:05pm -- JOFA

By Hannah Hostyk

Hollywood group shotFor the women of Hollywood Florida, the Women’s Megillah reading is a highlight in our spiritual lives. This year almost 150 women collectively attended our evening and morning readings. As in years past, some of the women who attended had never heard the megillah read before. This year, some of our supporters generously donated new copies of the megillahfor the group, so that we now have our own dedicated copies of the megillah for future use. The first time we read megillah, six years ago, we...

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Thu, 04/03/2014 - 4:05pm -- JOFA

By Rori Picker Neiss  

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Thu, 04/03/2014 - 4:05pm -- JOFA

Orthodox Jews believe that men and women are fundamentally different.  They have different characteristics, different strengths, different obligations and different ways of seeing the world and approaching life.  Thus, it follows that especially for us, (as opposed perhaps to more liberal Jewish movements in which the boundaries between the genders might be more blurred), it is vital that we have both genders leading our people.  If men and women see the world differently and have different voices then to have only male leaders is to limit the Jewish vision by fifty percent.

I would like to caution us against seeing women spiritual leaders in the way that  liberal Jewish movements have in the past, that of expecting women to be...

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Thu, 04/03/2014 - 4:05pm -- JOFA

Helyn SteppaBy Helyn Steppa 

So, I started this thing called a Winyan. You know, Women plus Minyan equals Winyan? (Just to clarify, Winyan isn’t a davening group, a lot of people think that. Winyan is actually a place where we share personal stories, debate issues and inspire one another). I know I was asked to discuss how I came to start this group, but I’m not sure how to articulate all that it means to me, and besides, we’ve only had two meetings. I remember when I was around eight years old and my dad asked me if I could read a map. Fancying myself sassy and clever I said “No… but I...

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Thu, 04/03/2014 - 4:05pm -- JOFA

By Vered Noam

From Mussaf Shabbat, Mekor Rishon, Jan 11, 2013

The segregation of women from synagogue activities does not only hurt women but also hurts the place itself, which loses its authenticity and lives in a gone reality. A call for integrity and softness. 

Our spiritual lives are divided by a partition, just like a synagogue. We push to the other side of that internal partition all the vital foundations of healthy critical thinking, compassion, and common sense. Spiritual experience demands openness and listening, both inward and outward. How can we sing Lord’s song with a clenched fist?&

During a visit to the United States, we spent one...

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Thu, 04/03/2014 - 4:05pm -- JOFA

By Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez

I have been involved in a few conversations lately about a topic that really agitates me, so when I saw the premise used to prove the exact opposite, I simply couldn’t not say my piece publicly any longer.

A Rebbetzin is not a female Rabbi. Sorry Orthodox Jewry, but its just not reality.

While many Rebbetzins or Rabbanits (not getting into the semantics on this one now, been there done that) do serve as leaders in their communities, many do not. While some have a high level of education, some do not. And on the flip side, while some women who want to be leaders in the community marry Rabbis, others do not. The premise is that all women who want to lead have to marry Rabbis, and that...

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Thu, 04/03/2014 - 4:05pm -- JOFA

Take a moment from the busy, at times cynical, lives we lead and listen to one person’s story – for she wrote us all a letter:

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