Martin Lockshin – Opinion
“Celebrating Women’s Graduation as Spiritual Leaders”
Canadian Jewish News – 18/11/2015
Amid all the troubling concerns about safety and security in Jerusalem, a good news story unfolded here on Oct. 20 at Midreshet Lindenbaum, a post-high school institute for women’s learning. Over 300 people gathered to celebrate the graduation of Meira Welt Maarek and Chani Klein Ravhon from the Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute for Halakhic Leadership (WIHL). Like me, much of the crowd was there to celebrate an auspicious historic event.
These two women (who are actually the third and fourth graduates of WIHL, preceded by Idit Bartov and Anat Novoselsky) completed a rigorous five-year course of full-time study of Talmud and Halachah, covering kosher food, Sabbath laws, family purity, mikvot, mourning, marriage and conversion. In other words, they mastered a curriculum identical to that of the men training for rabbinical ordination and passed similar examinations. Thus they are equal in knowledge and skill to their male rabbinical counterparts. (Full disclosure: when I was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi 40 years ago, I was tested on a significantly narrower range of areas of Jewish law than these women.)
Why was this event so significant? Click to read the full article on the Canadian Jewish News website…