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Judaism-Orthodox

Cecillia Etkin

Cecillia Pollock Etkin’s faith in Judaism delivered her from seven concentration camps during the Holocaust and in 1950 to the Seattle Orthodox Jewish community where she lovingly served as the “mikveh lady” for 27 years, from 1970-1997. Born in Sighet, Romania in 1922, Cecillia was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 where her parents and many siblings were murdered. In 1945 Cecillia emigrated to New York City, married Seattle native Nathan Etkin, and moved to Seattle with him where she ran her own dressmaking business and raised four children. As Seattle’s first volunteer “mikveh lady” she prepared the ritual bath according to Orthodox Jewish law, and counseled brides and married women, converts, the sick and the elderly, who sought her quiet spiritual guidance.

JOFA: Beyond Belief - Part 3

In her final interview before leaving JOFA, Elana Sztokman talks about Orthodox feminism and JOFA. This is the final part of our three-part series, posting weekly.
Read part one here.
Read part two here.

Susan Reimer-Torn: Do most JOFA women want full inclusion in Jewish ritual life as currently practiced by men? Or are they looking for another, more woman-oriented approach to the communal or spiritual experience?

JOFA: Beyond Belief - Part 2

In her final interview before leaving JOFA, Elana Sztokman talks about Orthodox feminism and JOFA. This is the second part of our three-part series, posting weekly.
Read part one here.
Read part three here.

Susan Reimer-Torn: Some of JOFA’s early financing came from progressive Jewish groups and some non-Orthodox women. Why do you think they were persuaded to contribute? How important is this alliance?

JOFA: Beyond Belief - Part 1

Today we are excited to publish the first installment of a three-part series on JOFA and Orthodox Feminism, posting weekly. After covering the JOFA conference for the Jewish Week, Susan Reimer-Torn found she had many timely questions to explore about the state and vision of Orthodox Feminism today. Her conversations with author and JOFA executive director Elana Sztokman confirmed that much needs to be shared about the conflicts, values, tensions, and goals of Orthodox Feminism. Elana's views, both as a thought leader and an organizational executive, illuminate dark corners and sound an inclusive note for all Jewish women interested in innovation and inclusiveness, regardless of religious affiliation.

Where She's Coming From

I’m bracing myself for the inevitable storm of essays about Neshama Carlebach’s choice and what it says about Orthodoxy. It’s easy to read her decision to “make aliyah” to Reform Judaism as a triumph of the liberal values and inclusivity of the Reform Movement over the ingrained sexism of Orthodoxy. But the truth is that both movements are struggling with how to include women and a wider range of voices.

From Hasidic Rock to the Dangers of Slut-Shaming at JOFA

I had been eagerly anticipating the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) conference for months. Happily, it did not disappoint.

Belda Lindenbaum

Belda Kaufman Lindenbaum is President of the board of Drisha Institute for Women in New York City and Vice-President of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She is also a board member of Ramaz Day School and Bar Ilan University.

Rivka Haut

Rivka Haut is an Orthodox feminist activist. She has co-edited, with Rabbi Susan Grossman, Daughters of the King: Women and the Synagogue (JPS, 1992) and, with Phyllis Chesler, Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism’s Holy Site (Jewish Lights, 2003).

Blu Greenberg

Author and lecturer Blu Greenberg has published widely on contemporary issues of feminism, Orthodoxy, and the Jewish family, as well as on other subjects of scholarly interest. Amidst a myriad of public roles, she chaired the first and second International Conferences on Feminism and Orthodoxy in 1997 and 1998 and is founding president of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance.

Sue Levi Elwell

Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell has been teaching and writing about Jewish women’s history and feminist spirituality for the past 20 years. The Founding Director of the American Jewish Congress Feminist Center in Los Angeles,

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Judaism-Orthodox." (Viewed on May 3, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/judaism-orthodox>.

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