Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
Yeshivat Maharat, the first institution to train Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and halakhic authorities will host their first graduation ceremony on Sunday.
The women have each studied the same course of training as men and have studied the Jewish Torah at advanced levels for years.
Orthodox rabbis will be present at the graduation, at which the women will receive diplomas for “ordination as clergy, and the certificates will note they have been ordained as a “Decisor of Jewish Law for the Community.”
Maharat is a Hebrew acronym for Manhiga Hilkhatit Rukhanit Toranit, “One who is teacher of Jewish law and spirituality,” and each graduate will use the title of Maharat.
All of the women will be employed as clergy for Orthodox synagogues and institutions.
Rachel Kohl Finegold will be serving as clergy at Montreal’s Congregation Sha’ar HaShomayim with Rabbi Adam Scheier.
Ruth Balinsky Friedman will be serving as clergy at Ohev Sholom, The National Synagogue, in Washington D.C. with Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld.
Abby Brown Scheier will be a principal of a small Hebrew school, as well as teaching children and adults in the Montreal community.
Rori Picker Neiss will be completing her fourth year of Yeshivat Maharat while serving as clergy at Bais Abraham Congregation in St Louis, with Rabbi Hyim Shafner.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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