United Synagogue Women have launched an educational series designed to encourage women to take up senior positions in the community.
The four week-long programme, The Female Jew: Options for the 21st Century, will be launched at the Stanmore and Canons Park and Muswell Hill shuls this month. It will be co-led by five US rabbis and four female educators who are eager to boost the role of women.
Lawyer Joanne Greenaway, who will be taking a session, said many UK Jewish women were still under the misapprehension that they could not say Kaddish, touch a sefer Torah, or even read the Megillah on Purim. “Women can do more at home and in shuls,” she said. “There are quite a lot of myths out there.”
Mrs Greenaway believes that the women’s movement in the UK “is gaining momentum. There’s a desire [among women] to feel more engaged in Orthodox Judaism. Education is key. People are really excited. It’s empowering.
“This is not about women’s issues, it’s about communal ones,” added Mrs Greenaway, who is leading the project on behalf of US Women. “At the same time it is about respecting people who are comfortable with the current status quo.”