Defend Dignity, Recognise Good 3.11.19

The Minneapolis Chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women was founded in 1894 . Phote from the 1930s

The impressive Adina Bar-Shalom defends her dignity

JOFA honors my friend Judy Heicklen this evening – mazaltov to her co-honorees and all those who have nurtured Orthodox Feminism over the last 30 years.

Yochi Rappeport interviewed by Israel Hayom, talks about her journey to the role of Executive Director of Women of the Wall “In the army I met religious girls from Jerusalem, a stronghold of Orthodox feminism. In Jerusalem, they use both their intellect and their emotions. You can wear trousers … and be religious. At the Education and Youth Department [of the IDF] I attended Shabbat services wearing my dress uniform. There were 10 girls and three boys there. One of the girls led the prayers, completely naturally. Changes need to be made in the attitude toward women – I need to be counted in a minyan, for example – but it’s important to me to keep the mitzvoth.” Read the full interview here

Remember the movie 93Queen about the indomintable women of Ezras Nashim — America’s first women’s emergency medical team? They’re back – they argued last Wednesday for permission to operate an ambulance within a two-square mile area of Borough Park to serve Orthodox women who feel uncomfortable being cared for by male first responders. Read about the support they’re not receiving.

I dabble in shidduchim [not for a fee, but bunch of flowers is nice] and have thankfully been successful a few times. However, a recent advertisement looking for suitable women to meet divorced cohanim made me realise this must be a very significant and sensitive issue. I saw one facebook page – and I’m sure there are other means for facilitating introductions.

And on a happy note, read Ilana Kurshan’s moving speech at her son’s brit mila on Shabbat Parshat Noach. Her ability to weave the poetic with the personal, all the while infusing every vignette with deep Jewish thinking, is simply magical. Mazaltov!