An embarrassment

January 10, 2013

When this week's Jewish Leadership Council delegation to Downing Street was revealed it contained double the amount of women from the last such occasion. So should the JLC be applauded? Only if you think that moving from one woman to two is an achievement rather than an embarrassment.


Wanted: educators, not wives

By Dina Brawer, January 6, 2013

After much pressure the United Synagogue finally agreed to allow women to chair synagogue boards. Two weeks later chief rabbi-elect Ephraim Mirvis appointed Lauren Levine as a yoetzet halacha (halachic advisor) to Finchley Synagogue. It is often uncomfortable for a woman to ask sensitive halachic questions of a rabbi.


Limmud on women rabbis’ woes

By Anna Sheinman, December 27, 2012

“The stained-glass ceiling has not yet been broken”, declared Baroness Julia Neuberger at a panel debate of women rabbis at Limmud on Sunday.

In what was supposed to be a celebration of 40 years of women rabbis, instead the four rabbis, speaking to an almost entirely female audience, agreed that, after 40 years, they were “still in the desert”.


Why United Synagogue women can chair their synagogue

By Rabbi Gideon Sylvester, December 24, 2012

Many years ago, my elderly aunt was desperate to know why so many of her friends were abandoning the United Synagogue and defecting to Reform communities. Hearing that the head of the Reform Movement would be speaking at a public meeting, she went along to pose her question: “How are you enticing so many Orthodox Jews to join your movement?”.


Two UK teens arrested in Kotel protest

By Sandy Rashty, December 20, 2012

Two young British women were detained in a Jerusalem police station after taking part in a Women of the Wall religious rights protest last Friday.

The 18-year-olds, currently on RSY-Netzer’s Israel gap-year programme, were detained for four-and-a-half hours after morning prayers at the Western Wall.


RSY girls arrested in Women of the Wall protest

By Sandy Rashty, December 14, 2012

Two young British women have been arrested in Jerusalem after participating in a Women of the Wall religious rights protest.

The 18-year-olds, who are currently on RSY-Netzer’s Israel gap-year programme, were arrested on Friday during morning prayers at the Western Wall.

Women of the Wall protests often lead to women being arrested for praying at the site wearing a tallit.


How to be an Orthodox Jew — and a feminist too

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2012

A respected American programme catering to Orthodox Jewish women is to launch in the UK in the new year.

The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance will be run by London-based Dina Brawer in an attempt to boost the education and resources on offer to a new generation of Orthodox women.


We can’t ignore this sorry affair

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 11, 2012

At first glance, the story of the divorce of Beth Alexander and Michael Schlesinger is all too familiar. Two young people meet. They get married. Children come along — in this case, twin boys. Then things start to go wrong (or perhaps they started to go wrong much earlier). The couple split up.


At last — I contemplate naval

By Maureen Lipman, December 10, 2012

I’ve Joined the Navy.

I’m in a play at the Hampstead Theatre, in which my character, a widow, buys a red coat. “It’s a bit young,” says her mother. “I’d have thought at your age you’d have gone for something a bit more classic. Navy or camel.” It rings a large bell every time the actress says it.


United Synagogue says yes to women leaders

By Simon Rocker, December 6, 2012

Orthodox women in the UK have hailed an historic breakthrough after the chief rabbi and United Synagogue leaders cleared the way for them to become chairmen of synagogues.

Since US women were first permitted to become local synagogue officers in 2001, they have been restricted to the roles of vice-chair or financial representative.