Jofa Recent Media

American Orthodox rabbis: The complicity of silence

American political lines align Orthodox Jewish groups with Christians when it comes to abortion, taking an approach that contradicts their own rich rabbinic literature
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Form Follows Values

By Adam Starr Buildings can speak. Not with words, but with values—the values of their builders and the communities that use them. Thanks to the extreme generosity of our membership, ...
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My Bat Mitzvah Lesson

By Alan M. Schwartz Memorial Day 2009 was a milestone in the life of our family. My wife and I had chosen that Monday as the date for our daughter ...
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Family Seating at Life-Cycle Events

By Justin Sakofs For most of our married life, my wife and I have been members of minyanim with a mehitzah, and presently we are members of Kol Sasson, the ...
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Where Were the Women? The First Ezrat Nashim

By Vivian B. Mann In the fall of 2015, a young girl, viewing the synagogue models in the Yeshiva University Museum in New York City, asked, “But where would I ...
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Figure 1. Cordoba Synagogue, Interior, 1314/5. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Sapieha.Figure 2. Lorca Synagogue, general view of interior, first half of 15th century. After Ramón Avaso Martínez, ed., Lorca: Luces ...
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Dear JOFA,

I read every issue of the Journal from cover to cover.I received the Winter2015–2016 issue this week and was stunned to see that it focused on child sexual abuse.I read ...
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JOFA: Chart yOUR Course

JOFA on the MapThis summer, JOFA Chicago launched the Ahuzat Nahala Beit Midrash, a new Torah learning initiative accessible to all members of the Chicago community. The beit midrash is ...
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The Synagogue Mehitzah Revisited

By Eliezer Hirsch The topic of the synagogue mehitzah has generated impassioned discussion spanning more than a century. Widely debated in the United States throughout the twentieth century, mehitzah (and ...
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Why Mehitzot Matter

By Blu Greenberg Item: A Modern Orthodox community in Queens, New York, celebrating an aufruf, holds Shabbat services in the social hall of the local yeshiva. The opaque mehitzah separating ...
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Walls and Mehitzot: A Big DifferenceBy Bat Sheva Marcus Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,And spills the upper boulders in the sun,And makes ...
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The Maharat Behind the Mehitzah

By Rachel Kohl Finegold “But where will you sit?” That was the very first question I was asked by the very first reporter to interview me after I was hired ...
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Love, Marriage, and Jewish Families:
Paradoxes of a Social Revolution
Sylvia Barack Fishman, Editor

Brandeis University Press/HBI Series on Jewish Women, 2015, $40 (paperback), $34.99 (ebook) By Roberta Rosenberg Farber The family is an institution most of us take for granted. We grow up ...
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Kabbalat Shabbat: The Grand Unification

Illuminations and Commentary by Debra BandHoneybee in the Garden, 2016, $49.95By Roselyn Bell Debra Band’s new volume of illuminated texts for Kabbalat Shabbat and Friday night home rituals is both ...
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Faith Without Fear: Unresolved Issues in Modern Orthodoxy

By Michael J. HarrisVallentine Mitchell, 2016, $36.94By Roselyn Bell What is Modern Orthodoxy? Michael J. Harris, a rabbi serving the Hampstead Synagogue in London as well as an academic with ...
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