The Modern Orthodox Yeshivat Maharat’s investiture of three women as halachic and spiritual leaders has drawn rapturous praise from the non-Orthodox world, including the liberal Jewish press. The ordination ceremony — attended by enthusiastic representatives of the progressive and Orthodox communities alike — has been acclaimed in print as “a landmark event in Jewish history” and “a revolution … to be praised and admired.”
A dozen middle-aged to elderly Israelis, some blind, some deaf, some both, baking bread. It is not the most promising theatrical concept, but it works. Rabbinical students from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat attended a recent performance of Not By Bread Alone at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, staged by the Nalaga’at Theater, an Israeli company made up of the deaf-blind. It came towards the end of a week devoted to learning about disability.
When Yeshivat Maharat, the school that trains Orthodox women as spiritual and halachic leaders, started last fall to plan its first public symposium, Dean Rabba Sara Hurwitz planned to call the event “Menstruation, Sexuality and Modesty,” but was persuaded to drop the idea.
“We thought nobody would turn up for that,” she said.
Bikkurim incubator to support Orthodox women’s seminary headed by Sara Hurwitz.
As the controversy surrounding Sara Hurwitz’s designation as “rabba” continues to swirl in the wake of her being named to Newsweek’s “50 Most Influential Rabbis in America” list, news that the yeshiva she runs to train Orthodox women as spiritual and halachic leaders has been chosen to get financial and nonprofit development support from the incubator Bikkurim was undoubtedly comforting.