Tag Archives: Women Rabbis

Resources on Women’s Ordination

by R. Gil Student A lot has been written recently on the subject of women’s leadership in the Orthodox community, particularly about women’s ordination on rabbis. The overwhelming conclusion has been that there are many areas of potential growth for women in communal leadership but not in the rabbinate. Traditionally, the rabbinate has been male; we are bound to proudly uphold that ...

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Orthodox Union to Enforce Ban on Women Rabbis

by R. Gil Student Even organizations have to follow rabbinic guidance. Last week, the Orthodox Union (OU) announced it would enforce its ban on women rabbis in member synagogues. Current member synagogues that are not in compliance have three years while all other current and new member synagogues may not have women in clergy positions. The OU is a 120-year ...

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Can the OU Expel Synagogues From Orthodoxy?

by R. Gil Student Let’s say the OU were to expel a synagogue, or 4, what practical difference would it make? Insider politics within the Orthodox Jewish community is abuzz with discussion of whether the Orthodox Union (OU) will expel four member synagogues that have hired women clergy. This debate misses the essential nature and the very structure of the Orthodox community ...

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The OU Is Right: Orthodox Women Shouldn’t Be Rabbis

by R. Avi Shafran Most of a rabbi’s roles can be halachically and effectively assumed by women, and have been for many years. A rabbi must be learned in Jewish texts and the practical laws pertaining to daily Jewish life — and Orthodox women’s seminaries teach thousands of young Jewish women those laws, and do a top-notch job of it ...

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Portraits of Rabbinic Women

by Faigy Grunfeld Many rebbetzins of the past were dynamic, Jewishly knowledgeable women who were invaluable partners to their rabbinic husbands. Article in Jewish Action magazine: Rebbetzin. A relatively modern word but a fairly ancient role. Sometimes she earned an officious title, like fourteenth-century Ceti of Saragossa who is referred to as “Rabess of the female Jews” in Spanish documents; ...

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Women Rabbis: Jewish Unity and the Limits of Autonomy

by R. Rafi Eis Is this the moment of an irrevocable split? Emotions have been running high in the Modern Orthodox community in the past three weeks over the clerical role of women in Orthodox Judaism. The OU statement expanded the official synagogue roles for women, but also denied them serving as congregational rabbis. The responses and counter responses newly ...

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The Orthodox Union Gets It Right On Women Rabbis

by R. Gil Student The Orthodox Union (OU) released a statement last week announcing that it will implement the findings of a rabbinic panel it convened to study the issue of women rabbis (clergy). For a number of years, a school run by rabbis calling themselves “Open Orthodox” has been ordaining women as clergy and sometimes placing them after graduation ...

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When Values Collide: Women’s Rabbinic Ordination

by R. Gil Student In October 2015, the Rabbinical Council of America issued a resolution (that I sponsored) that its members may not ordain women into the Orthodox rabbinate nor hire a woman rabbi, regardless of title. This past Thursday, after a long process of communal comment and rabbinic inquiry, the Orthodox Union (OU) issued a statement effectively adopting the ...

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