Leora Tanenbaum

The Challenge of Women's Leadership in Orthodox Jewish Communities


The Huffington Post, February 26, 2011

In liberal Jewish synagogues across the country, women have achieved feminist success. They wear ritual garments. They read from the Torah. They are rabbis. But when you enter an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, you enter a gender time warp. Here, women do not count in a prayer quorum. They are not permitted near the Torah. In many cases, you would be hard-pressed even to figure out where the women are located, since they may be seated behind a curtain or wall, or upstairs in a gallery, far from the action. As Tevye the milkman would say, "Sounds crazy, no?"

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