JOFA Welcomes New President Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus


September 24, 2015                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus has been named president of the JOFA board of directors, succeeding Judy Heicklen who served in the role for the past five years. The board gratefully acknowledged Judy’s dedicated and inspiring service. During her tenure, JOFA ran its eighth international conference exploring multiple facets of feminism and Orthodoxy. In addition, she oversaw the launch of JOFA’s first fundraising dinner and an international agunah summit, while significantly expanding JOFA’s programming and outreach.

“I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work closely with Judy during a critical time for the movement,” said JOFA's Executive Director, Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg. “Judy is a great thinker and has given so much of herself during the past five years. Thankfully, she is not going too far.”  

Judy will continue to be a key player in the JOFA organization in her capacity as a member of JOFA’s board and executive committee as she joins the prestigious ranks of past presidents, Carol Kaufman Newman and Blu Greenberg.

 Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus is ready to move the organization forward as President. “I am excited to take on the leadership of this historic organization and to work with some of the women and men I admire most in the Orthodox community. Our new initiatives to include a younger demographic and reach out to women who live outside the NY Metropolitan area will allow the organization to grow as it spreads its work and message,” says Marcus. 

Bat Sheva Marcus is one of JOFA’s original founders and has been a member of the board of directors since its inception in 1997. She has spearheaded numerous JOFA initiatives including serving as chair of the 2013 international conference, developing JOFA’s Chatan and Kallah Teacher Training Workshop and co-hosting the currently number one trending Jewish Podcast, The Joy of Text.

Bat Sheva currently serves on the board of Minyan Shachar in Riverdale, and is a past board member of HIR and the Women’s Tefillah Network.  Bat Sheva is a founder and the Clinical Director of The Medical Center for Female Sexuality, which is one of the largest centers of its kind in North America, helping women navigate a wide variety of sexual issues. Bat Sheva earned her PhD in Human Sexuality at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. She also holds a Master’s degree in social work from Columbia University, a Master’s in public health from the Institute of Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a Master’s in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary.  

Bat Sheva has lectured internationally on women’s issues and has been a guest on numerous radio and television broadcasts including Huffington Post Live, MSNBC Crystal Clear, Business Insider, and local programming. She was recently profiled in a feature in  The New York Times Magazine, in which she was dubbed “the Orthodox sex guru.” Her work has also been covered by Time magazine and Westchester Magazine and other local publications. “I am humbled and thrilled to be working with Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus,” said Weiss-Greenberg, JOFA’s executive director. “She is witty, passionate, and has been and will continue to be a leading, driving force of change. We look forward to working with Bat Sheva as she sets a new direction for JOFA and guides the organization in advancing social change around gender issues in the Orthodox Jewish community.”