Posts Tagged: Yeshivat Maharat Results 4
Courtesy of Dasi Fruchter
Three years ago this month, Rabba Sara Hurwitz made history in the Jewish world by becoming the first publicly ordained female rabbi in the Orthodox community. Since then, the 35-year-old mother of three has been working as Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, an institution dedicated to training women Orthodox clergy, as well as working as Rabba at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. The first three women are set to graduate this June with the title of Maharat — an acronym for “Religious, spiritual, Torah leaders” — marking yet another important milestone for women in Orthodoxy. Rabba Hurwitz spoke to The Sisterhood to explain what this all means.
Abigail Pogrebin’s story, “The Rabbi and the Rabba,” in this week’s New York magazine, takes an insightful look at the man behind the making of the first woman in America to be ordained as Orthodox clergy, Rabbi Avi Weiss.
Pogrebin does a good job of capturing many aspects of Weiss’ complicated personality; his ardent political activism, which he can pursue single-mindedly, his political savvy and also his kindness toward people in need of ordinary kinds of support, through illness and grief. She certainly captures the impetuousness with which he plunged forth when it came to changing Sara Hurwitz’s title from “maharat” to “rabba,” a shift which precipitated enormous outcry from the Orthodox establishment.
One of Sara Hurwitz’s sons recently said more, related to the recent conferral of her new title of Maharat, than many others publicly have. Four-year-old Zacharya told her “only boys can be rabbis.”
Hurwitz laughed it off — explaining that her kids don’t get to see her working in her position of leadership at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, since they’d have a hard time not interrupting her, and saying “he doesn’t hear women being called ‘rabbi.’”