A conversation between Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, rabbi of Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue in Washington, DC and JOFA Executive Director Elana Sztokman. Ohev Sholom made history this year by hiring Maharat Ruth Balinsky-Friedman, and becoming one of the first to employ a graduate of the first graduating class of Yeshivat Maharat in a full time clerical position of religious leadership. (It is worth noting that this position is partially funded by JOFA, thanks to the generous support of JOFA board member Zelda Stern, and thus also forms a powerful model for women's collaboration, partnership and advocacy).
Hiring a Maharat is only one piece of the remarkable story of this shul. When Rabbi Herzfeld first arrived at the synagogue ten years ago, there were no women on the board, no liturgical spaces for women in shul, and in fact women were not allowed to vote as members. So how did they do it? How did they create such vital and dramatic changes in this community around gender issues? How did they build consensus? How did they garner support and enthusiasm? How did they overcome hurdles? That's what we are going to find out in this webinar!
During this conversation, Rabbi Herzfeld discusses some of these issues and more:
* What are some of significant obstacles to women's advancement in Orthodox communal and synagogue life?
* What are the most important factors that helped you in garnering support for women's inclusion?
* What are some of the ways that shuls can increase women's involvement within the realm of halakha?
* What are some helpful tools for people who want to make changes in their shuls?
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