Investing in Orthodox women’s spiritual leadership

Ohr Torah Stone is pleased to announce that our five-year Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute of Halakhic Leadership (WIHL) has been awarded a $50,000 grant by the Honey Foundation, to advance the impact of women spiritual leaders in Orthodox communities throughout Israel.

visit from the Honey FoundationIn keeping with the Honey Foundation’s mission – to operate as a catalyst for change in Israel by supporting communal spiritual leadership which will reflect the diversity and richness of Israeli society and meet the needs of all Israelis – the grant will enable the WIHL to provide direct compensation to its fellows and graduates as a means of encouraging the creation of internship positions and job placements as halakhic, spiritual leaders.  In addition, as an expert in the local field of women’s spiritual leadership, the WIHL will now also be in a position to provide mentorship, strategic advice and stipends to other, non-student applicants who wish to fulfill their vision of women’s communal spiritual leadership.

As part of their annual November visit to view the projects with which they are partnering , Honey Foundation founders Bill and Amy Lipsey and their daughter, foundation president Sarah Lipsey Brokman, recently met with the WIHL fellows whose community leadership projects are being fostered by their grant.

A center of communal spiritual leadership for women

“Different types of communities require different types of leadership,” says WIHL director Rabbanit Devorah Evron. “We are in the business of training halakhic leaders and spiritual leaders; this grant enables us to provide the direct compensation, ongoing professional skills development and strategic support which will make it possible for them to be placed in meaningful positions through which they can build strong Orthodox communities – using the halakhic and pastoral knowledge that they acquire at the WIHL.

Honey Foundation 2

Representatives from the Honey Foundation at dinner with WIHL scholars and external applicants for grants to support the creation of women’s communal spiritual leadership in Israel

“At the same time,” Evron continues, “there are several women who are not in our program who also have proposals for unique Orthodox communities they are interested in building. Thanks to the Honey Foundation, we are now poised to assist them by providing the seed money and acting as mentors in the creation and cultivation of these communities,” she said.

“We’ve been dreaming of this next step”

“The Honey Foundation recognizes the need for community spiritual leadership who can provide meaning and spirituality for all populations within Israel,” says OTS President and Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Kenneth Brander. “They have undertaken to effect this change by confronting the lack of equality regarding funding and support for Jewish matters in Israel, 

“We’ve been dreaming of this next step,” Rabbanit Evron reveals. “The Honey Foundation’s investment in our future validates our daily learning and efforts in a field which is just in its infancy. It is so exciting that they perceive the potential in our vision and believe in the unlimited future possibilities.”


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