Abstract

Abstract:

On February 1, 2017, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation's largest Orthodox synagogue association, adopted a ruling that prohibits women from serving as clergy. The swift electronic dissemination of the ruling set off a wave of passionate protests along with vociferous expressions of support. The ruling encourages extensive female involvement in public religious leadership, a position at odds with prior statements of prominent Orthodox authorities. At the same time, it explicates in unprecedented detail core responsibilities that are forbidden to women. The result is the emergence of a novel definition of the rabbi that shares commonalities with the role pioneered by Reform Judaism in the nineteenth century. This article examines how the latest chapter in the development of Orthodox feminism has precipitated this reconceptualization of the American Orthodox rabbinate.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2028
Print ISSN
0021-6704
Pages
pp. 1-37
Launched on MUSE
2018-06-21
Open Access
No
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