Devorah Scholar Challenge Grant Opportunity For Orthodox Congregations

The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) is pleased to announce the Devorah Scholar program, a new challenge grant opportunity generously made possible by Ann & Jeremy Pava. JOFA seeks to expand the spiritual, ritual, intellectual and leadership opportunities for women within the framework of halakha (Jewish law), by advocating meaningful participation and equality for women in family life, synagogues, houses of learning and Jewish communal organizations. The Devorah Scholar program seeks to increase spiritual leadership paid positions for Orthodox women in Orthodox synagogues. Orthodox synagogues may apply for a maximum of $10,000 per year for up to two years of funding to support the hire of a Devorah Scholar, an Orthodox woman who will hold a newly created spiritual leadership position within the synagogue. 


Congregations will be required to supplement a minimum of an additional $20,000 per year for a part-time position. (Applications for full-time are welcome for consideration as well.) Synagogues that are the recipients of grants will be evaluated after the first year in order to guarantee the second year of funding. Synagogues must provide a job description to be approved by the JOFA selection committee.


Required components of the position include (but are not limited to):


·       Deliver congregational sermons

·       Provide shiurim and drashot to the broader community

·       Pastoral care and counseling

·       Youth and adult education


For applying congregations: eligible applicants to be a Devorah Scholar include (but are not limited to) graduates of the following educational institutions:


·   Drisha Institute

·   Nishmat (Yoetzet Halacha program)

·   Ohr Torah Stone

·   Yeshivat Maharat

·   Yeshiva University (GPATs)

Devorah Scholars will be required to submit a posting for the JOFA blog and together with the congregation, lead a local public event (in partnership with JOFA). Congregations will be required to complete a mid-grant and end of grant report.


Deadline to submit application: Sunday, March 1, 2020


For more information, contact Daphne Lazar-Price:




In the press: 

Jewish Telegraphic Agency: A New Program Pays Orthodox Synagogues to Hire Women as Spiritual Leaders, November 7th 2019

Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance JOFA UK
Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance JOFA blog

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