December 29, 2013 – Targum Shlishi is helping to support “The Torch,” a new blog organized by JOFA (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance) and hosted on the website MyJewishLearning.com. “The Torch” explores issues around the topics of gender and religion in the Jewish community and is written by multiple contributors.
“The Torch” launched in November 2013 and has attracted many different writers on a variety of subjects. Multiple blog entries have been posted each week and several have generated lively comments. Topics of posts have included mikvehs, prenups and the agunah issue, what it’s like to be an Orthodox feminist undergraduate student at Harvard, and tips for creating a partnership minyan.
In a blog post inspired by Thanksgivukkah and emblematic of much of the approach and philosophy of “The Torch,” JOFA executive director Elana Maryles Sztokman reflected on what she is grateful for: “I’m grateful for my life, where I have freedom and opportunities that I wish my grandmothers had. I am grateful for all the work that the feminist movement has done over the past two generations, making the world a better place for women. I’m especially grateful for religious feminists who have fought tirelessly against often fierce, aggressive and at times mean-spirited opposition, who never gave up the struggle to ensure that religious women are seen, heard, and valued.”
“The Torch” aims to bring together “voices from across the Jewish world to explore people’s experience of gender in synagogues, schools, home life, politics, and more,” Sztokman explains. “The Torch,” is named for Deborah the Prophetess, “the woman of torches” and refers to both Deborah’s Torch and feminists “passing the torch” to a new generation.
“We applaud JOFA’s initiative in creating this forum for multiple voices with contributions to make around the topic of gender equality in the Jewish world. This ongoing conversation is so important, as is inspiring the next generation to continue this important work of advocating for gender equality in Orthodox Jewish life,” says Aryeh Rubin, director of Targum Shlishi.
The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) is the leading organization advancing social change around gender issues in the Orthodox Jewish community. JOFA expands the spiritual, ritual, intellectual and political 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 to the full extent possible within halakha. The core JOFA belief is that fulfilling this mission will enrich and uplift the entire Jewish people. For more information about JOFA, visit its website: www.jofa.org.
MyJewishLearning.com is the leading transdenominational website of Jewish information and education. Offering articles and resources on all aspects of Judaism and Jewish life, the site is geared toward adults of all ages and backgrounds. In addition to the more than 5,000 articles, MyJewishLearning.com is home to several active blogs in partnership with a variety of Jewish communal organizations. For more information on its articles, resources and blogs, visit its website: www.myjewishlearning.com.
About Targum Shlishi
Targum Shlishi, a Raquel and Aryeh Rubin Foundation, is dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, Targum Shlishi’s initiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information on the foundation, visit its website at www.targumshlishi.org.