Rabbi Daniel Landes recently ordained 20 men and women as rabbis in Jerusalem.
The past two weeks have seen eight Orthodox women in both Israel and America ordained as clergy. The titles may vary – from Maharat to Rabba to Rabbi – but effectively all are now to be considered rabbis.
Two women ordained as Orthodox rabbis this week will be entitled “rabba,” the female form of “rabbi.” They will be joining the only woman who had the title until now, Sara Hurwitz of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale’s synagogue in the Bronx.
Three years ago, Rabba Sara Hurwitz made history by becoming the first publicly ordained female rabbi in the Orthodox community. Will the revolution will continue?
In 1997, Blu Greenberg chaired the first International Conference on Feminism & Orthodoxy. About 400 attendees were expected and more than 1,000 showed up, hungry for a community of other women committed to both traditional Jewish life and their own religious potential. The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, which was born of that first gathering and had Greenberg as its founding president, has run six more conferences and now claims some 5,000 members worldwide.
Another “rabba” is slated to be ordained next month by the Academy of Jewish Religion, The Jewish Week reports. (The Sisterhood will have more on this shortly.)
A new debate looms over what to call Orthodox Jewish women trained in rabbinic texts and serving the Jewish community as religious leaders. And the ‘R’ word has once again reared its disruptive head.
Women cannot be Orthodox rabbis. That much is clear in the resolution passed unanimously at the annual conference of the Rabbinical Council of America, held at the Young Israel of Scarsdale April 25-27. But that is all that’s clear in the resolution, which can be read in its entirety here.