Women in clergy

This week Orthodox Jewish women ordained by Yeshivat Maharat became the first class of a ‘different kind of leader’

By MICHELE ALPERIN/JNS.ORG
June 20, 2013 12:58
Yeshivat Maharat ordination ceremony in New York

Yeshivat Maharat ordination ceremony in New York521. (photo credit: Courtesy: Maxine Dovere)

 
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On the surface, Sunday’s ordination ceremony for the first three graduates of Bronx, New York-based Yeshivat Maharat – the first institution to train Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and halachic authorities – marked a historic moment for the Jewish community. But Rabbi Jeffrey S. Fox, rosh yeshiva (academic dean) of Yeshivat Maharat, does not view the institution as trailblazing or revolutionary.

“On the ground, on a day-to-day basis, what we are doing is very normal, especially for these women who grew up in the modern Orthodox world, where they had access to the same level of Jewish education as their male friends,” Fox said.

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