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Judaism-Orthodox

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. 

Pop(e)ular

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. 

Belda Lindenbaum, 1938 - 2015

It was her determination to keep one foot firmly in traditional Judaism and the other in feminist ideals of inclusion that made her a model for so many of us.

The Balancing Act

I was raised in a modern orthodox household. I went to a private Jewish preschool, then a private Jewish elementary school, and then a private Jewish middle school. But when I reached high school, my family and I made the decision to go to public school. It was a brand new social and educational experience, and almost all of the changes I went through were positive. However, I lost the daily Hebrew and Judaics I’d had my whole life, and I realized how you can get very distant very quickly from your Judaism. 

Decidedly Unorthodox

Earlier this year, it was a Saturday afternoon and I was at my friend’s house when she asked me how my beliefs in feminism and Modern Orthodoxy were compatible. I tried to explain to her that in order for my feminism to be real, it had to be challenged. 

Bluma Rivkin

Bluma Rivkin’s experiences of the devastation of Katrina and the struggles to rebuild were profoundly shaped by her humor, her compassion, and her work as a shlucha (Chabad emissary).

Bluma Rivkin

Accustomed as a shlucha (Chabad emissary) to helping those in her community, Bluma Rivkin went into action after Hurricane Katrina, first with the pressing concerns of finding housing and aid for evacuees, then with the larger task of rebuilding the community.

Elena Kagan

One of the rare Supreme Court Justices who had never served as a lower court judge, Elena Kagan has made her mark on the court as a liberal Justice with a gift for engaging dissents that avoided legal jargon.

Naama Shafir

Committed to both her athletic career and her Orthodox faith, Naama Shafir faced challenges alien to most basketball players, from walking to games on Shabbat to altering uniforms for modesty.

Joseph Dov Soloveitchik

As the rosh yeshiva (religious head) of Yeshiva University from 1941–1985 and chief legal decisor for Modern Orthodox Jews in America, Joseph Dov Soloveitchik shaped Jewish practice and public opinion through the era of second-wave feminism.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Judaism-Orthodox." (Viewed on December 18, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/judaism-orthodox>.

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