A healthy turnout for US women's initiatives

By Sandy Rashty, July 15, 2013

Rebbetzin Lauren Levin — appointed last December at Finchley Synagogue by Chief Rabbi elect Ephraim Mirvis as Britain’s first Orthodox female halachic adviser — led a seminar on “women’s health and halachah” at Kinloss on Sunday.

The event attracted close-on 150 participants and topics ranged from miscarriage to contraception. “It was fantastic to see so many women engaging in discussion of topics from both a Jewish and medical perspective,” Mrs Levin said. “We hope to deepen understanding of this area of Judaism.”

Kinloss member Deborah Clements said the seminar was “just what we needed — really innovative, interesting, informative and empowering and taking place within a modern Orthodox environment”.

At Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue last Wednesday, United Synagogue Women hosted the launch of the “It’s Your Torah Too” project, with speakers including US educator Rabbi Michael Laitner, London School of Jewish Studies’ women’s programmes head Jo Bruce and Pauline Newman from Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue’s Women’s Learning Experience.

US Women co-chair Dalia Cramer said: “The sefer Torah belongs to every Jew yet many women have never had a chance to engage with it on a satisfying level.” US Women will be suggesting participatory ideas to shul representatives, from educational breakfasts to passing the sefer Torah around the women’s section on Simchat Torah.

Last updated: 10:45am, July 15 2013