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Naomi Kutin

Naomi Kutin earned the nickname “Supergirl” and set the weightlifting record for her weight class … at age ten.

Decompartmentalizing Jewish and Feminist Identity

In continuing with the Jewish Women’s Archive’s goal of elevating the voices and sharing the stories of Jewish women, I decided to interview and profile Yael Marans, a childhood friend and overall mensch. 

Sara Hurwitz

Sara Hurwitz, the first Modern Orthodox woman rabbi ordained in the United States, has worked to help her community grapple with reconciling women’s participation and a strict interpretation of Jewish law.

Finding My Place

When the second half of 8th grade arrived, I was faced with what my 13-year old self believed was the most important decision I would ever have to make in my entire life. I had to choose a youth group to join. Even though Denver has fewer options than most cities, I was still overwhelmed by my choices. 

Come, Join Us

I remember my excitement upon hearing about Yeshivat Maharat’s  ordination of women. As a supporter of female Jewish leadership in all of its forms, I was thrilled at the idea. Evidently, Jessica Cavanagh-Melhado, a contributor to JWA’s blog, felt the same way. In June 2013, she wrote a piece entitled, We Begin to Become a Multitude. In the piece, she describes her experience attending the first ever ordination of women as open Orthodox female spiritual leaders. 

Sara Hurwitz

Upon becoming the first Modern Orthodox woman rabbi ordained in the United States, Sara Hurwitz took on the title “Rabba.”

Orthodox Feminism

A lot of people leave Orthodoxy because of the sexism. Honestly, it’s really hard to stay. Being a teenager with friends who are all forming their identities, I struggle with this a lot. Many of my friends are leaving the movement because they are tired of tirelessly fighting, enduring, and never being equal. 

Holy Glass Ceiling

On June 13th, 2013, three women graduated from the Yeshivat Maharat and were ordained with the title of maharat, or female spiritual leader. Even then, the Rabbinic Counsel of America (RCA) refused to recognize these women as part of the Orthodox Rabbinate. This is a two steps forward, one step back situation. 


Religious leaders aren’t normally considered cool by teenagers, but Pope Francis is most definitely an exception. As a teenager myself, I can say that the Catholic Church was not at all on my radar until he started making waves. 


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Judaism-Orthodox." (Viewed on March 24, 2018) <>.


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