Yeshivat Maharat, Promoting Orthodox Women Spiritual Leaders: Visiting Scholars Program, Bronx, New York
Orthodox women rabbis? The debate is ongoing, but in the meantime, in 2012 Yeshivat Maharat is in its fourth year of training Orthodox women for positions as spiritual and halakhic leaders—it is the only institution that is providing Orthodox women with a path to the clergy. Established in 2009 by Rabbi Avi Weiss, the first class of students from the institution will graduate in June 2013. When they graduate, these women will need jobs in communities that will welcome them. One challenge is that communities are not accustomed to women in this role. Promoting Orthodox Women Spiritual Leaders: Visiting Scholars Program gives students the experience of visiting synagogues, campus organizations, and other Jewish agencies, and accustoms communities to the idea and reality of Orthodox women serving as spiritual leaders. “Yeshivat Maharat’s Visiting Scholars Program will allow the institutions’ students and faculty to share our vision of religious inclusion, with the hope of inspiring communities to hire Orthodox women as spiritual leaders.” explains Rabba Sara Hurwitz, dean of Yeshivat Maharat. The Visiting Scholar Program targets communities that are interested in hiring graduates of Yeshivat Maharat as spiritual leaders.
Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO), Sponsor a Child, Tel Aviv, Israel
WIZO is dedicated to advancing the status of women in Israel as well as providing for the welfare of all sectors of Israeli society and encouraging Jewish education. Targum Shlishi often supports WIZO initiatives. WIZO’s Sponsor a Child initiative helps support disadvantaged infants and children in WIZO’s foster homes, daycares, and schools.