Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Former Orthodox Feminist Leader Now Studying To Be Reform Rabbi

The former executive director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance announced Wednesday that she was studying to become a Reform rabbi.

Elana Maryles Sztokman wrote on her blog that her decision was “about finding a home where I can share values with the people around me, where I don’t have to explain myself all the time, where I don’t feel like I have to apologize for putting the real needs of women in the equation. That is incredibly liberating, and healing.”

Sztokman noted that in the past, her outspoken feminism had led Orthodox Jews to denigrate her by calling her “Reform.”

“But now,” she wrote, “my response is, ‘I take that as a compliment!’ To be Reform means to place human compassion before all else, to understand that we must be human beings before we are Jews. I am so excited about the idea of really living that way, and being surrounded by people who also live that way.”

Sztokman, a periodic contributor to the Forward, ran JOFA for a year and a half before leaving in early 2014. She will be studying at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in Jerusalem.

Contact Aiden Pink at [email protected]

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.