United Synagogue launches major women's leadership programme

Women will study Torah at an advanced level on two-year course


The United Synagogue is launching a two-year leadership programme for women, which aims to create “a more inclusive and more learned community”.

Designed by the Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis, Ma’aleh, which means “ascent”, will be open to women who want to learn Torah at an advanced level. It will also include high-level training in leadership and pedagogy.

The first students will begin in October under the tutelage of leading educators, including Rebbetzin Lauren Levin of South Hampstead Synagogue. Rebbetzin Levin is one of the first qualified yoatzot halachah -women advisers in Jewish law - to work in the UK.

The Chief Rabbi said: “The Ma’aleh Women’s Advanced Torah Programme represents the next exciting stage in our journey towards ensuring that our community can benefit from many more women who are accomplished leaders and role models.

“We have assembled a group of exceptional teachers from around the world to guide and inspire the first cohort of students, and our hope is that this programme will help us to realise our collective ambition for a more inclusive and more learned community.”

The programme will be run in conjunction with the London School of Jewish Studies, Matan, a leading women’s institute in Israel and the religious Zionist movement Mizrachi.

It will take place two nights a week, with regular Sunday seminars, and develop skills in both Bible and Talmud study.

US chief executive Jo Grose said: “Our vision is to enable more women to become leaders in and beyond our communities and Ma’aleh will, please God, help us deliver this.

“There is a thirst for high-level Torah teaching and learning in the UK and we are delighted to be able to respond to this demand with the launch of this programme, along with our partners.”

Seven years ago, the Chief Rabbi launched the Ma’ayan programme to train women as educators, with a particular focus on the laws of family purity and other religious issues primarily of concern to women.

For more details and to apply, go to:

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