Women’s Role in Modern Orthodoxy

Tamar Snyder writing in The New York Jewish Week:

Beyond The Rabba-Rousing

The recent controversy surrounding Riverdale Rabbi Avi Weiss’ decision to change Sara Hurwitz’s title from maharat to rabba “has been more about the title than really about what we’re doing,” [Dina] Najman [rosh kehila at Kehilat Orach Eliezer] says. And in debating titles, the issue of Orthodox spiritual leadership “gets gender-fied,” she says.

“The bigger picture here is that we really just want to do the work” of building and shaping Orthodox communities, she says. “It needs to be understood that [Orthodox women] are doing this in the spirit of learning, for the sake of heaven. These women, regardless of title have remained true to their mesorah [tradition], the process of halacha and halachic observances.”

… For the half-dozen Orthodox women in spiritual leadership roles in New York and beyond, lost amid the squabble over titles has been a true understanding of the day-to-day work they have been doing and continue to undertake on behalf of the communities they serve.