Progress for women at Federation synagogues

Women in the Federation of Synagogues have for the first time been elected to the management board of a congregation.

Yeshurun Synagogue in Edgware took the historic step on Tuesday, voting five women to its 12-person board.

Five years had elapsed since the head of the Federation’s Beth Din, Dayan Yisroel Lichtenstein, issued a ruling to permit women to be elected but no congregation until now had gone for change.

Yeshurun leaders argued that the perceived treatment of women was deterring potential new members from joining it.

Unlike in the United Synagogue — where the first female congregational chairmen were elected this month — women cannot be synagogue officers in the Federation and the board must retain a male majority.

Dayan Lichtenstein said as long as the congregations adhered to the “clear halachic parameters I have given, it’s ok.”

Last updated: 4:45pm, May 9 2013