Partnership minyan to be launched in Hendon


The demand for partnership minyans, Orthodox services where women can take a public role, is growing, with plans to hold the first one in Hendon this month.

Partnership services already take place every few weeks in Elstree and Golders Green, while another minyan has met occasionally in Hampstead.

The Hendon minyan will hold its first service in a private home on Friday night, March 13.

In partnership minyans, women can be called up to and read from the Torah, as men are, while also being able to lead certain prayers.

One of the organisers of the Hendon minyan, Paul Grant, said a number of people had met to discuss the possibility a few weeks ago. "It emerged there was an appetite for one, so we decided to make it so," he said.

We know most US rabbis don’t approve

A joint educational event with the Golders Green group attended by around 40 people was held last Sunday.

Mr Grant, who is originally from Newcastle and has attended Orthodox synagogues in north-west London, said he had become "slightly frustrated by certain aspects. I have a daughter who is three and one thing we asked was what she would do for her batmitzvah.

"Would she do something repeatable – in partnership minyans, women can leyn and once they have learned to leyn, that is something they can continue to do. Or would she give a one-off shiur in synagogue and then disappear into communal obscurity?"

Since the group began to publicise its event on Facebook, he said he had been getting a continual "trickle of email inquiries". He added: "We don't want to be antagonistic towards the establishment, we know most United Synagogue rabbis don't approve."

But there were a "a large number of people who are comfortable with the idea of a partnership minyan and don't have an outlet for one in Hendon".

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