Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

Mayim Bialik: ‘Women Are Ready To Be Orthodox Spiritual Leaders’

Mayim Bialik released a video on YouTube Thursday highlighting B’nai David-Judea, the only Orthodox synagogue in Southern California which employs a female member of the clergy.

In the video, Bialik speaks of the male-centric roots of Judaism and the inevitable evolution of Orthodox Judaism.

“My history was written by men,” says Bialik in the video. “It is male centered. My tradition is not.”

“Something is shifting,” continues Bialik. “Women are now coming to the fore who are wise, educated, and competent.”

Pictures of female clergy pop up on screen as Bialik speaks, many of whom graduated from Yeshivat Maharat in the Bronx.

Although the video is entitled “Are We Ready For Female Spiritual Leadership?”, Bialik makes it quite clear that, from her standpoint, it’s not a question but an inevitability, one that she supports wholeheartedly.

“When girls and boys in our community look to a leader, they will not only think that leaders are men,” says Bialik. “Because our tradition can hold that leaders can be men and they also can be women.”

Several hours after publishing the video, Bialik tweeted that she did not omit mention of female clergy across Reform and Conservative Judaism out of disrespect or ignorance but rather because the video intended to focus specifically on Orthodox Judaism.

Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter, @arr_scott

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.