David Weiss Halivni

Mixed Readings OK'd At Halachic Shul

Staff Writer
In a first for an Orthodox-in-practice American synagogue, Kehilat Orach Eliezer in Manhattan has voted overwhelmingly to permit both men and women to read from the Torah at the same worship service. And despite synagogue leaders' efforts to make clear that the decision is applicable to their community alone, others say the move could have a far-reaching impact.

Orthodox Shul May Break Taboo

Staff Writer
An Upper West Side congregation, Orthodox in practice, could become the first established synagogue of its kind in the country to allow women to read from and bless the Torah, in a service with men, based on a controversial new interpretation of Jewish law gaining momentum in the observant world. The possible groundbreaking change at Kehilat Orach Eliezer (KOE) is based on a halachic opinion written by Jerusalem Rabbi Mendel Shapiro, who argues that traditional barriers to women’s synagogue Torah reading in the presence of men may no longer be relevant.
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